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Full text of "The Northmen in Cumberland & Westmoreland"

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The present little work owes its origin to an attempt 
to present, in the form of a popular lecture, such of the 
leading facts contained in Mr. Worsaae's " Danes and 
Norwegians in England " as might be supposed to be 
more particularly interesting to a Cumberland audience. 

The slight investigation consequent upon this under- 
taking convinced the author that the mine was worth 
working deeper, and an increasing interest in the sub- 
ject led him on till the extent of his researches appeared 
to him to be such as to warrant him in giving them to 
the public. 

He is fully aware that a work like the present, which 
is to a great extent etymological, must of necessity 
contain much that is more or less conjectural, and has 
endeavoured, as far as possible, to avoid dogmatism, 
and to qualify the expression of his opinion according 
to the circumstances of the case. 

At an early period of his enquiry he was led to form 
the theory of an immigi'ation more particularly Nor- 
wegian proceeding from the western side of the island, 
and a part of his object has been to lay before the 


In order to enable the reader to understand the derivations 
in the following: pages, it is indispensable for him to pay a little 
attention to the pronunciation of Old Norse. I therefore pro- 
pose, without entering into the niceties of the subject, to ^^ive 
a few general rules for his guidance in this respect. 

In the first place it is to be observed that the r final after a v^ 
consonant in nouns is merely the sign of the nominative case, 
and is not to be taken into account. Thus the proper names 
Ulfr and Ormr are the same as the names Ulf and Or me. 
a, has the sound of oa in broad, or a in small. 
ce, is nearly the same as Eng. a. 
au, is pronounced as ou in house. Thus gaukr a cuckoo, is 

the same as our word gowk. 
e, is nearly the same as Eng. a. 
eiy same as above. Thus the proper name Geit is our 

name Gate, 
ey, Mr. Blackett observes, approaches the German eu, hav- 
ing a sound somewhat between ai and oi. 
i, as ee in peel. 
jy as y in yard. 

6, seems to have had a sound between o long and ow, and 
in our derivatives has sometimes one sound and some- 
times the other, but more commonly that of long o. 



It was upon the suggestion of a Danish antiquary that 
Dr. Jamieson was induced to undertake that impor- 
tant analysis of the Scottish language which may be 
considered the first connected attempt to determine 
the amount of the Scandinavian element in any part 
of the British islands. It has been reserved for ano- 
ther Danish antiquary to trace out upon a more com- 
prehensive plan the extent and limits of the coloniza- 
tion of the Northmen — to examine the peculiarities 
which still point out the districts occupied by their 
descendants — and to attempt some general estimate 
of the extent to which England is indebted to the 
Scandinavian admixture. Mr. Worsaae's object is 
one not less honourable to him as a Dane than com- 
plimentary to us as Britons — ^to claim for the North 
its fair share in the glory of England. His aim has 
been to show that while the Scandinavian immigra- 
tion has been under-rated as to its extent, it has been 
still more generally misrepresented as to its influence 
and effects. We have been too ready to accept not 
only the facts of the Saxon historians, but also the 
medium through which they viewed them — forgetful 
that ferocious pirates, unscrupulous plunderers as were 
the Northmen, the Saxons before them had been much 
the same, and bear even to this day the same name of 




hatred among the more ancient people whom they 
subdued. If, then, history presents them rather in 
the more dignified character of successful invaders, it 
is owing, at least in part, to the fact that the records 
are written by themselves, and date chiefly from the 
period of their permanent conquest. 

The Monkish historians dwell with a natural and a 
peculiar horror on the destruction of the monasteries, 
the slaughter of the priests, and the desecration of the 
holy symbols of religion by the pagan Danes. But 
we, reading history in a calmer light, ought to remem- 
ber that in times much nearer to our own the exter- 
mination of an opposing faith was held, not only as a 
justifiable act, but as a paramount obligation. The 
English Saxons could scarcely have suffered more from 
the pagan Northmen than their continental brethren 
from Charlemagne, who, in his wars undertaken for 
their conversion, slaughtered in cold blood 5,000 of 
them in one day. Whatever estimate we may form 
of the conduct of that mighty conqueror, we ought 
not to judge the followers of Thor and Odin by a 
severer scale. 

Nevertheless, making all due allowance for the high 

colouring of a picture drawn by those who suffered, 

we are constrained to admit that as the Northmen 

were more energetic, they were more ferocious — more 

ruthless in their vengeance, more unsparing in their 

inflictions, than any other of the tribes which sought 

our shores. 

f But still, in the midst of their most cruel visitations, 

j it was a high purpose that was overruling all. The 

\ fiery enterprise, the stern independence of those wild 

i sea-rovers, were a necessary element in the greatness 


of England. Twice the languid Anglo-Saxon energy- 
was stirred by the cross of Northern blood ; and, if 
the later conquest was more imposing, it was not more 
important, than the slow and hard-fought footing 
gained by the more purely Scandinavian tribes. It 
may, perhaps, not be going too far to say that the 
dauntless seamanship of Britain — that " salt blood " 
which makes her youth turn, as it were, with an in- 
stinct to the sea, may be due, in no small measure, to 
the daring spirit of the old sea-rovers. Mr. Worsaae 
has remarked that our greatest admiral bears a Scan- 
dinavian name, and was sprung from one of the coun- 
ties peopled by the Danes. And the names, too, of 
Blake and Bodney are to be found in the Blaka and 
Hrodny of the Scandinavian vikings. 

It might be cuiious to speculate further on the 
northern origin of names. We might ask whether the 
well-known Dick Turpin^ was not a genuine descend- 
ant of one of the Yorkshire vikings — ^whether Thur- 
tell,^ the treacherous murderer of his friend, did not 
preserve the worst form of Scandinavian ferocity. 
But though a characteristic trait seems sometimes to 
start up like a family likeness after many generations 
— Saxon and Dane have long been blended into one 
people, and in many and varied spheres the descend- 
ants of the Northmen have obtained renown. Arnold' 
and Tait* have successively developed the intelligence 
of the youth of England — Alderson* and Bolfe* main- 
tain the dignity of the British bench — Brodie^ has 

(1) Thorping. (2) TJtortiU. (3) Amalldr—" Old eagle ?" 
(4) Teitr. (5) Haldorsen. (6) Hrdlfr, mighty. 
(7) Broddi, perhaps from broddr, a spear, dart, goad, anj'thing 
sharp, a lancet. 

taken off his limbs with a difference to humanity 
— Urling^ is famed for lace — and Gunter^ presides 
peaceably over wedding breakfasts. The descendants 
of Northern Skalds seem to have found a congenial 
occupation in bookselling, for among our most emi- 
nent publishers five, viz., Cadell,' Colbom,* HaU,* 
Orme,* and Tait, bear names of Scandinavian origin. 
" At this moment," writes a noble lecturer on the sub- 
ject,^ " some sturdy Haavard (Howard), the proprie- 
tor of a sixty-acre farm, but sprung from that stock, 
the nobility of whose blood is become proverbial, may 
be successfully opposing some trifling tax at Drontheim, 
while an illustrious kinsman of his house is the repre- 
sentative of England's majesty at Dublin." Might we 
even go on to ask — but here we tread on tender 
ground — whether O'ConneU was more than half an 
Irishman? Konall seems to have been a common 
name among the Norsemen ; there are six of that 
name mentioned in the Lcmdndmahok or list of the 
original settlers in Iceland. One of these certainly 
was from Ireland, but he appears to have been most 
probably one of the Northmen who had settled th ere 
as both his wife and son have Scandinavian names. 
All the others seem, from the names of their parents, 
to have been pure Norsemen. Moreover, the name 
itself appears in form to be Scandinavian, and to have 
a clear etymon in Old Norse — konr, a noble or illus- 

(1) Erlingr, industrious. 

(2) Gunther, from gunn, battle. (3) Kadall. 

(4) Kolbiorn, kollr, helmeted, and barii, a child. 

(5) Hallr — hallr, a flint ? — rather hair, " vir liber et liberalis." 

(6) Ormr, a serpent — the Old Eng. worm. 

(7) Lecture on " The Northmen," by Lord Dufferin. 

trious person, a king; and aUr^ all — "all-king," an 
appropriate title enough for the " king of all Ireland." 
The name Connell is by no means an uncommon one 
in the north of England, where it might most naturally 
be supposed to be derived from the Danes or North- 
men. The respective prefixes, " O" and " Mc," in 
Ireland and Scotland, might indicate a cross between 
the natives and the Northern settlers. I do not, how- 
ever, know of any instance of the Scandinavian form 
of Connelson. Perhaps, upon the whole, this may be 
merely one of those coincidences upon which theories 
of more importance have so often been built. 

Instead then, as some writers have been disposed to 
do, of regarding the Scandinavian invasion as an evil, 
of which the effects have been shaken off, we have to 
learn that its results are not only beneficial but en- 
during. For hence it was that the dash of enterprise y 
was supplied which was wanted to qualify the inert 
tendencies of the solid Anglo-Saxon character. 

Yet the mixture seemed bitter when it was poured 
into the cup, and it was not even the wise mind of an 
Alfred that could see, amid the din of battle and the 
smoke of the burning village, the great Disposer of 
events standing by with the finest of scales, adjusting 
the proportions which should one day make a free and 
a mighty people. 

The extent of the Scandinavian immigration has 
been disguised by the close resemblance which it bears 
to the Anglo-Saxon, and by the facility with which 
the two kindred races amalgamated together. It would 
appear, indeed, from various facts recorded in history, 
that the difference between the two, as regards dialect, 
waa never such as to prevent them from understanding ^ 



each other, and was probably not greater than at 
present exists between certain districts respectively in 
the North and South of England. Hence arises the 
impossibility of establishing a rule which shall deter- 
mine with any degree of preciseness the relative pro- 
portion which is due to each in the standard language 
of England. Though a great part of the words in the 
language might be derived from either of the two, yet 
as a minority, however respectable, is voiceless, so in 
all such cases the Scandinavian has not been allowed 
any share in the formation. The rule, as laid down 
by Mr. Latham, is that it is not sufl5cient to prove a 
woi-d to be Danish ; you must also prove that it is not 
Anglo-Saxon. The result is then that the Scandina- 
vian element has been represented only by its difference, 
though it is obvious that m a great number of cases 
the presence of a word in the language is due not only 
to its use by the Anglo-Saxons, but to its concurrent 
use by both the two races. Still, however, notwith- 
standing the difficulty of discriminating, it follows as 
a natural result from the increased importance which 
is now assigned to the Scandinavian element, that a 
greater share should be conceded to it in the formation 
of the English language. And that this is the case we 
learn from the authority above quoted, who, in the 
last edition of his "Hand-book of the English language," 
remarks, " A few years back the current opinion was 
against the doctrine that there is much Danish in 
England. At present, the tendency is rather the 
other way." 

The object of the present essay, however, is not to 
enter upon any general speculations upon the subject, 
but is confined to an attempt to estimate the extent 

of the immigration which took place into a particular 
part of the kingdom — to investigate with more pre-* 
ciseness its character, and to enquire into the probable 
circumstances under which it occurred. 

The gi-eat stream of Northern adventurers which 
swept the Eastern shore of England appears to have 
been composed principally of Danes ; their descents 
were made chiefly on the Yorkshire coast, the estuary V- 
of the Humber being one of their favourite landing- 
places ; in the adjacent district were the strong-holds 
of their power, and the number of names of places more 
purely Danish in Lincolnshire and Yorkshire serves to 
attest the preponderance of that rsEce over the others 
in the colonization of this part of the kingdom. ^ 

The first recorded invasion of Cumberland by the V 
Danes from this quarter took place in 875, when an 
army under the command of Halfdene entered Nor- 
thumberland, and wintering near the Tyne took pos- 
session of that district, upon which they seem to have 
made permanent settlements. Swwaavthence they made 
incursions into Cumberland, and even extended their 
ravages as far as the British Kingdom of Strathclyde 
in Galloway. In one of these incursions they destroyed 
the city of Carlisle, which lay in ruins, as it is asserted, 
till the time of E-ufus. Although the main object of 
these expeditions was no doubt plunder, there is every 
reason to suppose that many of the invaders settled at 
that period in the district. 

It will, however, be my object to shew that the 
principal part of the Scandinavian colonization in 
Cumberland and Westmoreland did not proceed from 
this source — that it was more particularly Norwegian, 
and must have occurred about a century later. 


In Lincolnshire and Yorkshire the names of places 
are, as it has been observed, more particularly Danish. 
But as we proceed northwards towards the confines of 
Cumberland and Westmoreland, a marked change be- 
gins to appear in the nomenclature of the district. 
The names more purely Danish become less frequent, 
and some of them, as we advance, altogether disappear. 
On the other hand, Norwegian names become more 
frequent as we proceed, till we arrive, among the 
mountains of Cumberland and Westmoreland, at a 
nomenclature which it will be my object to shew, is 
more purely Norwegian. Here then is evidently 
another and a distinct immigration, and it will in the 
next place, be our object to investigate, as well as we 
are able, the probable source from which this immigra- 
tion proceeded. Not, as we have just seen, from 
the district of the ancient Denelaga. Still more 
evidently not across the border from Scotland, for as 
Mr. Worsaae has observ^ed, the course of the stream 
may be distinctly traced as running in the opposite 
direction. Notwithstanding the strong Scandinavian 
element to be found in the language of Scotland and 
in the character of the Lowland Scots, the number of 
Scandinavian names of places is comparatively small, 
and of these the most strongly marked are to be found 
along the Cumberland border, gradually diminishing 
as we advance further into the interior. It is evident 
then that whatever Scandinavian element exists in the 
Lowlands of Scotland must have been imparted at an 
anterior period, and under different circumstances — 
that a fusion of races had already taken place, and that 
the more purely Scandinavian colonists from Cumber- 
land made some encroachments upon this territory 


which was already settled. The whole Scandinavian 
tide-mark, so to speak, along the Scottish border, is 
that of a more recent immigration proceeding from 
Cumberland or from the shore of the Solway. 

In the same manner it may be shewn that the Scan- 
dinavian colonists of Cumberland could not have pro- 
ceeded across the island from the opposite coast of 
Northumberland. Like the Lowlands of Scotland, 
this county shews strong Scandinavian traces in its 
dialect, but contains a limited number of Scandinavian 
names of places, and the boundary of the two counties 
is scarcely more distinctly marked than the change in 
their nomenclature. 

Thus then the colonization of this district appears 
to be shut in, as it were, on all sides except that of 
its own coasts, and to the sea therefore we must look 
for the source from which it has proceeded, and we 
must now take into account the opposite, or Norwe- 
gian stream, which, descending from the North of 
Scotland, swept the western side of the island, and 
fixed its head quarters in the Isle of Man. That the 
occupation of an island such as that of Man would be 
the final object of what was evidently a powerful 
stream is hardly to be supposed, and we find accord- 
ingly that they made energetic attempts, attended with 
considerable success, to obtain a footing on the shore 
of Ireland. We find that, evidently masters of the 
sea, they took possession of most of the small islands 
both along the Scottish and English coasts, and suc- 
ceeded in some instances in making small settlements 
upon the main-land. One of the principal of these 
appears to have been in Pei»brokeshire, and chiefly 
about Milford Haven, in the vicinity of that magni- 


ficent arm of the sea which runs up, like a Norwegian 
Qord, into the land. We find here a number of Scan- 
dinavian names of places, and moreover bearing, as it 
seems to me, a considerable resemblance to those of 
Cumberland. The name itself, Cumberland, twice 
occurs, denoting probably the residence of the Kymbri, 
or ancient British inhabitants. The names Milford 
and Haverford I take to be from the Norwegian ^?'c?, 
refei-ring to the arm of the sea upon which these places 
are situated, and not from the Ang.-Sax. " ford," so 
common in the names of places in the south of England. 
Milfoi-d may probably be from the proper name of 
Mioll, and Haverfoid from Old Norse hafrar, Dan. 
Iiavre, oats — our word " haver" still in general use 
throughout the north of England. We have also holrrij 
an island, in Skokholm and Gateholm, the latter pro- 
bably from the Scandinavian proper name of Geit. Oe, 
an island, occurs in Caldy Island, and Ramsey Island — 
vagr, a bay, in Lindsway Bay, derived from that name 
which of all Scandinavian proper names is perhaps the 
best known to Europe. Vik, a small bay, occurs in 
Wathick and Little Wick, ness, a promontory, in 
Newton Ness, 6p or hop, an estuary, in Lidsop, sker, a 
rock, in Skerry Back, and stackr, a name frequently 
given by the Northmen to large rocks in the sea, in the 
Stack Rock. Inland, we have by, a village, in Tenby, 
or Denby, the Danes village, thorp, a village or hamlet, 
in Freystrop, from Freyja, one of the deities of the 
Northmen, or in this case more probably the name of 
a person. We have gardr, an inclosure, in Hasguard, 
geil, a place situated in the hollow of a hill, in New- 
gale, and hwmar, a rodk, in Hammer End. There 
are, beside 3, a great number of other places in which 


Scandinavian proper names are found, to some of 
which I shall have occasion to refer in another place. 

We can scarcely suppose then that the nearest part 
of England, the coast of Cumberland, would remain 
long unattempted by a brave and adventurous people, 
eager to obtain a settlement, and having a strong 
entrepot within a short distance from its shores. It is 
then from this quarter that I suppose the Noi-wegian 
settlers of Cumberland and Westmoreland to have been 
derived, and assuming their Norwegian character to be 
satisfactorily established, it is only j&x)m this quarter 
that they could have been derived. 

And I refer to the traces of Scandinavian settle- \/ 
ments in Pembrokeshire, because there seems to me to 
be some ground for supposing that they were founded 
about the same period, and possibly under the same 
circumstances, as those in Cumberland, to which they 
bear a considerable resemblance. But this does not 
amount to anything more than a conjecture. 

Our own historians make no mention of anything 
bearing upon the subject, but Snorro Sturlessen, among 
other countries visited by the Norwegian sea-rover 
Olaf, mentions both Cumberland and Wales. As 
Olaf was born about 970, and acceded to the throne 
of Norway in 995, his descents must have taken place 
somewhere about 990. This date corresponds with >V* 
that to which I assign the Norwegian settlements in 
Cumberland, and which, from circumstances to be 
presently described, I should place between 945 and 

We have next to take into consideration the pro- 
bable circumstances which enabled the Norwegians 
to obtain so considerable a footing in this part of 


England ; and in order to do this we must turn our 
attention for a short time to that remnant of the 
Celtic race who maintained their ancient inheritance 
in this comer of the island long after the rest of 
England had submitted to the Saxons. It is from this 
ancient British race that the name of the county seems 
to be most satisfactorily derived — Cumberland, the 
land of the Kymbri Its capital, Carlisle, retains its 
ancient British name — Caer Luel, the fort or city of 
Luel, so called, as we are informed by Geoffi-ey of 
Monmouth, from the name of its founder. Some 
antiquaries have presumed, from its Boman name of 
Luguvallum, that it must have had another Celtic 
name, probably LugvaL But Luguvallum may per- 
haps be nothing more than the Latinized form of Caer 
Luel — caer, originally a mound or hill, being used in 
the sense of a fort or rampart, in which sense the Latin 
vallum would be its equivalent — and referring not to 
the vallum or great wall of Severus, which passed near, 
but to the mound on which the ancient castle still 
stands, and where I suppose to have stood the original 
fortress from which the city has derived its name. 
Many other Celtic names of places remain to attest the 
prolonged sovereignty of the Britons in Cumberland, 
and the number of stone circles in this county and 
Westmoreland is greater than in any other part of 
England. Mr. Turner* mentions as a remarkable 
feature of these two counties that their uncultivated 
hills and plains are scattered all over with Dniidical 
remains, while in Northumberland and Durham 
scarcely anything of the kind exists. This, however, 

* History of the Anglo-Saxons. 


I conceive to be owing chiefly to the rocky character 
of these two counties, which in some cases has fur- 
nished stones of a size too large to be easily removed, 
and in others placed them in situations where the ends 
of agriculture did not render their removal of so much 
importance. The number of those of smaller size 
which have been destroyed in Cumberland and West- 
moreland seems to point out pretty clearly the cause 
of their disappearance in other places. It should, 
however, be observed that it is by no means clear that 
all these stone circles are to be attributed to the 
ancient British inhabitants, as, both for legislative and 
judicial, as well as for sepulchral purposes, the Northern 
nations made use of similar structures. And in some 
cases, for reasons which will be detailed in a succeeding 
chapter, there is ground for believing them to be 

The question now arises — what became of this 
ancient race who defended themselves in Cumberland 
so bravely and so long 1 We find no vestiges of a 
Celtic origin in the characteristics, physical and moral, 
of the present inhabitants of the district. Nor does 
their dialect present any but the faintest traces of the 
language of the ancient Britons. And though a more >/ 
considerable number of Celtic names of places exists 
than in most other parts of England, yet, taking the 
district of the mountains, where ancient names usually 
linger much longer than elsewhere, the number of such 
names is, in point of fact, less than in some other 
mountain districts of England, as, for instance, 

The early records of this part of the kingdom are 
meagre and confused — bo much so that some writers 



have even disputed the existence of Cumberland as a 
separate British kingdom, confounding it with that of 
Strathclyde in Galloway. The last record which history 
affords us of the Cumberland Britons is that of their 
subjugation in 945 by the Saxon Edmund, who gave 
Cumberland to Malcolm, King of Scotland, to hold in 
fealty. But for some time prior to their final extinc- 
tion, it is reasonable to suppose this little tribe — ^as in- 
deed the only condition of their existence — ^to have been 
chiefly confined to the inaccessible mountains of Cum- 
berland and Westmoreland, whence, like the Scottish 
Highlanders, they poured down upon the surrounding 
plain, revenging themselves by their inroads upon the 
usurpers of their native soil, and when menaced by a 
superior force, retreating again to the fastnesses of the 
mountains. The rest of the district — ^the plain of 
Cumberland and Westmoreland — ^was probably chiefly 
occupied by a mixed Danish and Saxoa. population, for 
the Danes from Northumberland had overrun it in 875, 
and it is reasonable to suppose had left some settlers. 
\ The Welsh writers assert that at this period many of 
the Cumberland Britons, being disturbed by the con- 
tinual incursions of the Danes, Saxons, and Scots, 
migrated to join their countrymen in Wales. The rest 
might probably retreat to the shelter of the mountains, 
where they would subsist partly by the chase, and 
partly by forays on the surrounding country. What- 
ever population, however, there was in the plain, must 
have been extremely thin and scattered, for amid the 
continual incursions of Danes, Scots, and Celtic moun- 
taineers, the unfortunate district could have had scarcely 
any repose. We may judge of the scantiness of the 
population, and the insecurity of the country, by the 


fact that the city of Carlisle, destroyed by the Danes in 
875, lay in ruins till the time of Rufus. 

The subjugation of this wild race of mountaineers v 
became then a necessary step towards the pacification of 
the kingdom, and accordingly we find that the Saxon 
Edmund, in league with Leoline, King of South Wales, 
whose part in the affair it is not easy to explain, marched 
against the Cumberland Britons, who were commanded 
by their native King Dunmail. He attacked them in 
the heart of their native mountains, and tradition points 
out the place where the decisive battle was fought, upon 
the pass between Grasmere and Keswick, where it is 
somewhat probable that the allied forces, penetrating 
in two divisions, had succeeded in taking the unfortu- 
nate mountaineers at once in front and in the rear. 
The victory was most decisive. Dunmail himself was 
among the slain, and his two sons were taken prisonei's. 
A rude heap of stones upon the top of the pass marks 
the grave of the last native king, and after this we hear 
no more of the British kingdom of Cumberland. 
Wordsworth, in his poem of " The Waggoner," has 
truly characterised two of the principal circumstances 
in the history of this event — that it was over the moun- 
tain district of Cumberland that Dunmail held sway, 
and that the result of the battle was fatal to the power 
of the Britons : — 

" They now have reached that pile of stones 
Heaped over brave King Duninail's bones, 
He who once held supreme command, 
Last King of rocky Cumberland ; ^ 

His bones, and those of all his power, 
Slain here in a disastrous hour." 

What became of the survivors of that disastrous 

field we are not informed. It may be, as the Welsh 


liiutorians assert to have been the case at a former 
period, and as Pinkerton* supposes probable also on this 
occasion, that the whole, or part of them emigrated 
into Wales — an arrangement which the presence of 
the King of South Wales, as one of the allies, might 
tend to facilitate. Or it may be that Edmund, having 
effectually crushed his foes, and incapacitated their 
young chiefe from ever going forth at the head of theii- 
tribe again — a cruel precaution, but perhaps not an 
act of wanton barbarity — allowed the miserable rem- 
nant to remain in possession of their native valleys. 
However it be, there can be no doubt that this moun- 
tain district, always thinly peopled, and never culti- 
vated, was now almost stripped of its inhabitants, and 
left to the solitude of its deep valleys and shaggy forests. 
Such, then, was the state of things when the Nor- 
wegians arrived in Man, and from its shores beheld the 
blue outlines of a land like their own land — a land of 
mountains and of valleys — a land waiting for a people, 
as they were for a settlement — nor would the shrewd 
and enterprising Northmen be slow in finding out that 
no strong man armed guarded those shores. 

History affords little or no record of their conquest, 
for the records of rude history are of wars, and this 
might rather be a work of peace. We are perhaps too 
much in the habit of looking upon the Northern 
settlers as sea-kings and pirates all, though, as Mr. 
Worsaae observes, it is probable that a part of their 
/ f colonization was of a more peaceful character. The 
first invaders would naturally be the roving seajoien of 

* An inqniry into the history of Scotland preceding the reign of 
Malcohu the Third, or the year 1066. 


the Qords, but those who followed in their wake would \ ,/- 
be the hardy shepherds of the fells. Not that we can ^ 
suppose these Norwegian settlers to have marched into 
Cumberland exactly as their countrymen are said to 
have recently done into their new settlement across 
the Atlantic, literally " fiddled in" by their gifted and 
eccentric leader, Ole Bull. Even supposing that they 
had not to make their way with the sword, they had a 
wild and an untamed country to encounter, and it 
would be with much toil and not a little endurance 
that a subsistence would be won from the dense forests 
and the rocky mountains of their new home. But 
they came from a country wilder and poorer still, where 
they had long been inured to both. The district of 
the Tellemark, so magnificent and so desolate — the 
mountains of the Hardanger, a name signifying, in the 
expressive language of the Old Norse, " a place of 
hunger and poverty" — were among the districts from 
which I suppose these Northern emigrants to have 
proceeded. And how these stout colonists cleared for 
themselves homes amid the forest, and gathered tribute 
from the mountain side, and how they protected the 
fruit of their industry with fences and walls — ^the 
"thwaites," and the "seats," and the "garths" of 
Cumberland will tell. 

Now all this may have happened as I have related ^ 
it, or it may not — I am merely stating what appears to 
me a probable manner of accounting for the Norwegian 
population of this district. But setting this particular 
theory aside, what can be more natural than that the 
Norwegians from Man — a people in quest of a set- 
tlement — should seek it on the shore of Cumberland — 
at once the nearest point to the great rendezvous of 



their fleets, and in the vicinity of the districts already 
fKXJupied by brother Northmen, from whom they would 
receive encouragement and sup}x>rt. 
y It might appear at first somewhat inconsistent with 
Edmund's object in ceding Cumberland to the King of 
Scotland, which appears to have been its protection 
from the encroachments of the Northmen — that the 
result of its surrender should be its more speedy occu- 
pation by those very people. But as the King of Eng- 
land had been unable, from its remote situation, and 
the fact of the Danish districts lying between him and 
it, to insure the safety of this district, so the King of 
Scotland would find it a difficult undertaking to pro- 
tect, from the combined inroads of the Norwegians 
by sea and of the Danes by land, a district which pro- 
bably had small means of defence within itself The 
Norwegians were masters of the sea, and the mountains 
approach in many places very near the coast : their 
shelter once gained, it would be no easy task to dis- 
lodge these warlike settlers. At all events, the result 
was that in the year 1000, or about half a century 
later, as we are informed by Henry of Huntingdon, 
one of the principal abodes of the "Danes," under 
which title the old writers comprehend all Northmen, 
was in Cumberland. 
V And that the King of England was highly dissatis- 

fied with this result is a^paren^ from the expedition 
which Ethelred undertook during this year into Cum- 
berland, which he ravaged, as the Saxon chronicle 
states, " well nigh alL" The chroniclers are not agreed 
as to the cause of this expedition — most of them 
attributing it to the non-fulfilment by the King of 
Scotland of his contract to co-operate in the defence 


of the kingdom against the Danes, while Henry of V^ 
Huntingdon states that it was directed against the 
Danes themselves, who were very numerously settled 
in this district. These two statements, however, appear 
to me to be not altogether inconsistent with each other. 
It is further stated in the Anglo-Saxon chronicle, that 
Ethelred's fleet was directed to sail round and meet 
him off the coast of Cumberland, but the wind being 
unfavourable, they contented themselves with ravaging 
the Isle of Man, a proceeding which seems to throw 
further light upon the object of the expedition, as 
directed against the encroachments of the Northmen 
upon Cumberland. Yet, notwithstanding the expe- 
ditions directed against them, the Northmen appear 
to have maintained their footing, for it will be my 
object to show in the course of this work that this part 
of the country retained a distinct Scandinavian cha- 
racter for some time after the conquest. 

The district which I suppose to have been colonized 
more particularly by the Norwegians comprises the 
mountain country of Cumberland and Westmoreland, i 
from which it is probable that they spread more or 
less into the plain — parts of Scotland along the Sol way 
Frith and the Cumberland border — and also certain 
portions of the North of Lancashire, particularly that , 
north of the sands, which is comprehended in the 
district of the English lakes. This portion had already 
at an earlier period been wrested from the Britons, 
and on the division of the kingdom into shires, had 
been made, as it stiQ remains, a part of Lancashire. 
But even at this period the Noi-thmen had effected 
considerable settlements, as the author of a paper on 
" the Danes in Lancashire" read before the society of 


Rcwicrucians shews by the feet that three out of the j 
five hundreds into which it was divided, bear Scandi- ' \/ 
navian names. The same writer draws a distinction i 
between the settlers of the North and/ the South of ^^ 
Lancashire, deriving the former from the Norwegians 
of the Western coast, and the latter from the Danes 
of Northumberland, who, by the capture of Chester, 
had established a chain of communication across the 

As to the period over which the Norwegian coloni- 
zation extended — the work may have been rapidly 
consummated, or it may have proceeded gradually and 
at intervals. It may have been that the last settlers 
were received when, as the Norwegian power declined 
in Man, the Northmen deserted the soil which they 
Could no longer hold in subjection for the shores where 
their countrymen were in stronger force ; while, on the 
other hand, the Britons, such of them as might still 
be left, would naturally be disposed to emigrate to 
Man. Thus an interchange of population would take 
place till the Isle, once the stronghold of the Nor- 
wegian power, would become, as it is at present, in 
possession of a Celtic race, and the ancient British 
kingdom of Cumberland become the exclusive temtory 
of the Northmen. 

The blank which history has left in the record of 
these transactions, tradition has not done very much to 
supply. Yet, as some of the traditions are not without 
interest, and some bearing on the question, I shall 
briefly cite them, premising that here, as elsewhere, 
all Northmen are comprehended under the general 
name of " Danes." One tradition derives the names 
of three villages, called respectively Ousby or Ulfby, 


Melmerby, and Thorkillby, from Ulf, Melmor, and 
Thorkil, three sons of one Halfdene, a Dane, by whom 
these villages were respectively founded. But this 
might be at the anterior period when Cumberland 
was overrun by the Northumbrian Danes, and these 
might be the sons of that Halfdene who is named as 
the leader in that incursion. 

Another tradition points out some ruins near the 
foot of Devoke Water as the remains of a Danish city 
called Barnscgj or Bardscar, the name of which is 
purely Scandinavian in either case, derived from its pro- 
bable founder, some Northman called Barna or Bardi. 
The description of this place in Hutchinson's history 
of Cumberland is as follows : — '* This place is about 
300 yards long, from east to west, and 100 yards 
broad, from north to south ; now walled round, save 
at the east end, near three feet in height ; there 
appears to have been a long street, with several cross 
ones ; the remains of house-steads, within the walls, 
are not very numerous, but on the outside of the walls 
they are innumerable, especially on the south side and 
west end ; the circumference of the city and suburbs is 
near three computed miles ; the figure an oblong square ; 
there is an ancient road through the city, leading from 
Ulpha to Ravenglass." At present there is little more 
to be seen than a number of small piles of unwrought 
stones scattered along the foot of the lake, and upon 
the hills bordering the north side; the stones com- 
prising the foundations appearing to have been gathered 
into heaps in order to clear the ground. About the 
beginning of the last century a considerable treasure in 
silver coin was found concealed in the foundation of 
one of the houses, none of which, unfortunately, has 


been preserved, as, like the Cuerdale hoard, it might 
probably have been found to consist of the varied 
plunder swept from many lands by some roving viking. 

Another tradition, explaining the meaning of a well- 
known Cumberland saying, "Let us gang together 
like lads of Drigg and lasses of Beckermet," has refer- 
ence to the manner in which the above Danish city of 
Barnscar is said to have been peopled. This was ac- 
complished by taking the men of Drigg and marrying 
them to the women of Beckermet, whose original help- 
mates had been slain in battle — what had become of the 
women of Drigg is a point upon which the legend is 
silent. Beckermet, formerly Beckermot, is a pure 
Scandinavian name, signifying " the meeting of the 
becks" — ^the place being situated at the junction of 
two brooks. Drigg, formerly Dregg, may possibly de- 
rive its name firom the circumstance above related — 
Old Norse dreg, from the verb draga, to draw or lead 
away. Now — without accepting in too literal a man- 
ner the facts of the above tradition — do we not seem 
to have here some sort of record of the Northmen tak- 
ing in hand, as might be expected under circumstances 
such as I have before described, to reorganise the popu- 
lation of a dispeopled district ? 

Another tradition refers to the origin of the breed of 
sheep called the Herdwick, which is peculiar to the 
mountains of the lake district. The particular charac- 
teristics of this breed are grey faces, absence of horns, 
diminutive size, and remarkable powers of endurance. 
The farmers of the district, having a common right of 
mountain pasturage, are in the habit — perhaps anything 
but a judicious one — of putting on each as many sheep 
as ever he can get. The result of this arrangement is. 


that any breed less hardy than this would infallibly be 
starved — hence the value attached in this part of the 
country to the Herdwick sheep. I have, however, 
been assured by formers of the district that, indepen- 
dently of any such consideration, the Herdwick is the 
breed which has been found, as the result of experi- 
ment, to be the most generally adapted to the moun- 
tain country of Cumberland and Westmoreland. The 
tradition of the county asserts this breed to have been 
originally introduced by means of a Danish vessel ship- 
wrecked on the coast. Now we have here an evident 
impression of the northern origin of these sheep, and 
the story of the shipwrecked vessel, as a means of ac- 
counting for its importation, would be a natural addi- 
tion to the legend when the fact of an actual immigra- 
tion from the North had been forgotten. If indeed 
any of the Northern invaders brought property with 
them into the coiintiy, it is certainly very different to 
the idea generally -entertained t>f the old sea-kings. 
But a breed like this, the merits of which were sum- 
med up by the local Secretary to the Koyal Agricultu- 
ral Society's exhibition held at Carlisle in the remark 
that it would " stand starving better than any other 
sort," might well be supposed to have come from " a 
place of hunger and poverty." 

I have stated the principal traditions bearing on the 
subject — ^which, as collateral evidence, are not without 
their value — but it is upon other and stronger grounds 
that I must mainly rely for proof of the Scandinavian 
character of the district. These are to be found in the 
names of places — ^the characteristics, manners and cus- 
toms, and the dialect of the inhabitants, to which may 
be added a Runic inacription lately discovered in Car- 


lisle Cathedral Of these the etymological part is by 
far the most important — it is in the names of places, 
and in the local terms still in use, or else preserved in 
these names — that we derive the clearest evidence of 
the Scandinavian colonization. But it will not be 
»ufficient to prove the general Scandinavian character 
of the district — it will be for me to show that it is 
more particularly Norwegian. And this I propose to 
do by an actual comparison of the names with those of 
Norway and Iceland. It will then be seen that the 
coincidence is such as to leave a strong presumption of 
their common origin. It is not merely that there is a 
general similarity of terms, but in a number of cases 
the settlers seem to have brought with them to their 
new abodes the very names that were current in their 
older homes. 
/ In one important particular the nomenclature of our 
district bears more resemblance to that of Iceland than 
that of Norway. In the latter country the names of 
places are more commonly taken from some circum- 
stance of locality, or from some feature of natural 
scenery. But in colonizing a new country like Iceland 
the Northmen more frequently called the places where 
they settled after their own names. To such an extent 
was this the case in Iceland that the list of persons 
given in the Landnamabdk serves in no small degree 
as a key to the names of places. The same feature 
characterizes our own district, where a large propor- 
tion of the names of places, as will be shewn in the course 
of this work, are derived from Scandinavian settlers. 
Moreover, the coincidence between these proper names 
and those of Iceland is such as to form one of the evi- 
dences in favour of their common origin. For, though 


it would not be right to take an individual name, and 
pronounce it to be that of a Dane or a Norwegian, 
yet as a comparison formed on an extended scale may 
fairly be presumed to represent the difference between 
the two, it becomes a reasonable ground of argument. 
But this subject will be more fully treated in another 

That part of Norway which presents the strongest 
features of resemblance is the district extending from 
Bergen to the Southern ocean, but in a line consider- 
ably west of Christiania — a district comprising the 
wildest and poorest part of the south of Norway. 
Some of the most characteristic names of our lake dis- 
trict, and those of most frequent occurrence here, in 
the north of Norway are altogether wanting, so that 
I think we are not without some warrant in pointing 
to this particular part as that from which our settlers 
have probably been derived. 

The Norwegian names are taken from the excellent 
map of Professor Munch, which contains so complete 
a list of those small and insignificant places which in ! 
an etymological point of view are often of the most j ^ 
importance. Indeed, the fault — if it be one — of this 
map is that so numerous are the names, that they 
sometimes form nebulae or clusters, scarcely distin- 
guishable by the naked eye. 

The marked Scandinavian character of the names 
in our lake district could scarcely fail to attract the 
notice of any etymologist who had given attention to 
the subject, and I find accordingly that the author of 
the concise but able glossary prefixed to Black's Guide 
remarks — "We have had to support no favourite 
theory or hypothesis as to the predominance of any 



one language in the district, though it is singular how 
many traces of Scandinavian dialects we meet with." 
It would rather appear from this, as if the author, 
starting perfectly unbiassed and without any par- 
ticular theory, felt strongly inclined to form one before 
he had finished his investigations. I may, however, 
be permitted to remark that the mistakes into which 
he has fallen seem to me to arise from the want of a 
more definite theory, otherwise so competeht an ety- 
mologist would hardly have derived Rydal, " the rye 
valley," from the Celtic Rhydhy " a passage place," 
or Codale, " the cow valley," from the Celtic Codagh, 

" a hm." 

I may also refer to a valuable series of papers on the 
local etymology of the district published in the K&adal 
Mercury, the writer of which, though also in some cases 
led astray, as it seems to me, by the false light of Celtic 
resemblances, has contributed an important addition to 
our stock of knowledge on the subject. 

Most of the writers on our names of places, I may 
here take the opportunity of observing, have fallen 
into the error of mixing up Celtic and Teutonic words 
in a manner which etymology does not warrant. Thus 
Ullswater, for instance, has been derived by more than 
one writer from the Celtic uUle an elbow, and the 
Ang.-Sax. " water." But unless we can suppose the 
inhabitants to have spoken a mixed Celtic and Teutonic 
jargon, such a name could not be formed. The only 
manner in which, except in some peculiar and excep- 
tional case, hybrid names can be formed, arises from 
one people not understanding a name given by another, 
and adding a word of their own to complete it. Thus 
a valley in Sutherland was called by the Northmen 


Helmsdale, to which the Gaelic inhabitants, not under- 
standing its meaning, added their word strath, so that 
it now bears the tautologous name of Strath Helms- 
dale, " Helmsdale valley." But UUswater, as a mixed 
Celtic and Ang.-Sax. word, could not be formed upon 
such a principle, because uUle would only be part of a 
name. Its origin is clear enough, as will be shewn in 
the proper place. 

It will, as a matter of course, be found to be the 
case that a considerable proportion of these local 
names, when taken individually, might be derived 
equally well from the Anglo-Saxon. In such cases, I 
give the name corresponding in that language, simply 
desiring the reader to form his opinion from the 
general results laid before him. 

In some instances a word will be found to bear more 
resemblance to the modern language of Norway and 
Denmark than to the Icelandic or Old Norse, which 
may be attributed either to the word having under- 
gone a similar change in both countries, or to its 
having been imported at a period when a change had 
already taken place. 



Among the terms applied to the various forms of 
human habitation, we might naturally expect to find 
many names referring to the religious observances, and 
the legislative and judicial institutions of the North- 

As regards the Pagan worship — the Christianity 
which superseded it would no doubt strive to oblite- 
rate every trace of the faith which it had learnt to 
abhor. Yet we are not without some interesting re- 
cords, derived from etymology and tradition, of the 
old heathen worship which formerly prevailed in this 

Everard, Abbot of Holme Cultram in the reign of 
Henry 2nd, relates that at the village of Thursby, 
near Carlisle, there formerly stood a temple contain- 
ing an image of Thor, of which temple the supposed 
foundations were dug up about the end of the last 
century. Through the neighbouring districts runs the 
Wiza, deriving its name probably from ve, a sacred 
place, and dy a river — and falling into the Wampool 
not far from Wigton — " holy town," from viga^ to 
A consecrate. Though ton or tvm,, it may be observed, 
^ in its ordinary sense is a word more particularly of 


Anglo-Saxon use — the Scandinavian word tun signify- 
ing rather an inclosed field — yet anciently it bore the 
same meaning among the Northmen as among the 
Anglo-Saxons ; thus we have Sigtun, the ancient seat 
of the worship of Odin in Sweden. Not far from 
Thursby is also Wiggonby, " the holy village," and 
Wiggon Rigg, " the holy ridge," and from these vari- 
ous facts we appear justified in the conclusion that 
here was an important seat of the worship of the 
Pagan Northmen. 

In the county of Westmoreland we have also a trace 
of the worship of the same deity in the name of Kirby, 
or Kirkby There, " the village of the temple of Thor." 
The historians of the county have supposed There in 
this case to be a corruption of thorp, but this is not 
probable, as in the earliest records it appears in the 
form of Thure. This is indeed the Anglo-Saxon form 
of the word, but as both Mrk and by are more particu- 
larly Scandinavian, and as in some other cases words 
undoubtedly Scandinavian appear in subsequent re- 
cords in an Anglo-Saxon form, there is no probability 
that this was any other than a temple of the North- 
men. In both this and the preceding case the deity 
worshipped was Thor, the principal god of the Nor- 
wegians, as Odin was of the Danes, and Freyja or 
Frey of the Swedes. 

In the same county of Westmoreland we have also 
an interesting record of the heathen worship intro- 
duced by the Northern settlera. Not far from 
Appleby is a village called Hofi*, situated in the manor 
of the same name, another place near it being called 
Hoff Row, and the adjoining common, now inclosed, 
being called Hoflf Common. This name is from Old 



Norse Ao/J a temple, of which it has originally been 
the site ; and an extensive wood, in which is situated 
the residence of the proprietor, is still called Hoff Lund, 
" the temple grove," from Old Norse lundr^ a grove. 
When we read the following account, from Mallet's 
Northern antiquities, of the proceedings of the Nor- 
wegians on taking possession of Iceland, we cannot fail 
to be struck with the manner in which, after the lapse 
of so many centuries, this manor still retains the dis- 
tinguishing marks bestowed by its original possessor : — 
'* When a chieftain had taken possession of a district, 
he allotted to each of the freemen who accompanied 
him a certain portion of land, erected a temple (hof), 
and became, as he had been in Norway, the chief, the 
pontiff, and the judge of the herad. Such a chieftain 
was called a Godi or Hofgodi, and all to whom he had 
allotted land were bound to accompany him on his 
journeys, and to pay a tax for the support of the 
temple." Here then, in this manor of Hoff, we seem 
to have the original district taken possession of by a 
Northern settler, and in the midst of it, the sacred 
grove, still called by its ancient name, in which stood 
the temple he erected, and by its side the dwelling of 
himself, the officiating priest, where still stands the 
residence of the proprietor, " Hoff Lund House." 

In the name of Woodriggs, the place where the 
temple of Thor before referred to near Thursby is 
supposed to have stood, we may perhaps also have a 
record of the sacred grove in which it was situated. 

We now come to the names which refer to the 
legislative and judicial institutions of the Northmen. 
Of the thing, their great council or popular assembly, 
where their laws were passed and their chiefs elected, 


we find a trace in the name of Tyndwald, a parish in 
Dumfriesshire, where was situated, no doubt, the place 
of meeting of the Northmen who settled on the oppo- 
site side of the border. In the name of Portingscale, 
near Keswick, we may perhaps find a reference to the 
thingskaalery or wooden booths erected for the conve- 
nience of those attending the thing. From a similar 
origin Mr, Worsaae supposes the name of Scalloway, 
near Tingwall, in Shetland, to be derived. For this 
council was held in the open air, and — probably to 
prevent any undue local influence from predominating 
— generally at a distance from any town or village. 
As a great number of persons were gathered together 
from all parts of the district, they took the opportunity 
of transacting their private business at the same time, 
and in fact the occasion served as a sort of fair in the 
neighbourhood, merchants resorting thither sometimes 
even from foreign countries. Consequently, accommo- 
dation was required for the persons who flocked together 
from all parts, as well as for the merchandise which 
might be exposed for sale, and for this purpose these 
wooden booths were provided. The prefix "port," 
signifies in Old Norse the gate of a fortified place — 
also, according to the late Mr. Just, of Bury, who thus 
explains the meaning of Aldport and Stockport, " the 
guarded passage over a ford." Portingscale is situated 
near the bridge over the Derwent, which might poii- 
sibly be guarded to prevent a surprise, for it was no 
uncommon thing, as we learn from the Icelandic sagas, 
for the assembly to be interrupted by the armed inter- 
ference of some malcontent chief. This, however, is 
altogether a mere etymological conjecture, and must be 
taken for what it is wortL " Porting" may be no 


more than one of the proper names with which "scale" 
is so often compounded. 

The vale of Legberthwaite, in which lies the lake of 
Thirlmere, might — judging from the etymology of its 
name — have a stronger claim to be considered as the 
place where the Northmen held their A Ithingy or gene- 
ral legislative and judicial council. It appears evidently 
to contain the Old Norse Idgherg^ law-mount — the name 
given by the Northmen to the eminence upon which 
the thing-stead was placed, and where the popular 
assembly was held, "Thwaite" signifies ground cleared 
in a forest, as will be further explained in a subsequent 
part of this chapter. The situation would be a suitable 
one for the purpose, being central to the surrounding 
district ; but beyond that afforded by the name itself, 
we have no other evidence to guide us. 

As to the question whether any of the stone circles, 
of which Cumberland contains so many, are to be con- 
sidered as the sites of Scandinavian thing-steads, we 
have little more than conjecture to offer. Those which 
appear to be the most clearly Scandinavian are mostly 
smaller ones, and appear to have been placed for sepul- 
chral purposes. One or two of the others, as that 
called " the Carles," near Keswick, which indeed is 
situated at no great distance from Legberthwaite, 
appear to have more claim to be considered British. 
The one near Addingham, called " Long Meg and her 
daughters," one of the finest monuments of the kind 
in England, has been referred by various writers to a 
Scandinavian origin, but at present seems generally to 
be considered by antiquaries as Ancient BritisL It is 
just possible that the name of Addingham or Alding- 
ham, the place near which it is situated, may be 


derived from " Althing" and " ham," signifying " the 
home near the Althing." But even if it could be shown 
to have been used by the Northmen, it would not prove 
that they erected it — or if it could be proved to be of 
ancient British origin, would it show that they did not 
make use of it ? For it would be as natural for the 
Northmen, finding such a magnificent structure ready 
made to their hand, to adopt it for their own purposes, 
as for the Moslems to convert the Christian church of 
St. Sophia into a Mohammedan mosque. 

On the confines of the lake district are two hills 
called respectively Moutay and Caer-Mote, which seem, 
from their names, to have been used as moot-hills, or 
minor judicial tribunals, though it is not easy to un- 
derstand why they should be placed in such close 
proximity to each other. Caer-Mote may be from Old 
Norse kcera, to complain, accuse, or go to law — signi- 
fying the tribunal of public justice. But it may be 
merely the Celtic caer, retained from its former name, 
and having the same sense as moty for the place may 
have been used by the ancient Britons for the same 
purpose as by the races who succeeded them. 

It would seem probable that the proceedings held at 
these places terminated with games or sports, of which 
we may have a relic in the races still held, or till lately 
held here — the course being from the bottom of one of 
these two mote-hills to the top of the other. 

We have a curious record of one of the judicial pro- 
ceedings of the Northmen — and sufficiently coiTobora- 
tive of the disorderly character which history accords 
to it — in our word " durdem," or " durdom," common 
also to some pai*t of Yorkshire, signifying a tumult or 
uproar- I take this word to be from Old Norse 



dyraddmrj a " door-doom," thus explained by Mallet. 
" In the early part of the (Icelandic) commonwealth, 
when a man was suspected of theft, a kind of tribunal 
composed of twelve pei'sons named by him, and twelve 
by the person whose goods had been stolen, was insti- 
tuted before the door of his dwelling, and hence called 
a door-doom ; hvi as this manner of proceeding gene- 
rally ended in bloodshed ^ it was abolished." Hence 
the word might very naturally become synonimous 
with the tumult and uproar which, it appears, generally 
characterized these proceedings. 

We now come to the dwellings and the settlements 
of the Northmen themselves, and we will take in the 
tirst place the names signifying simply possession or 
location. Of these we have a, land^ earthy thwaite, 
ridding, side, skew, ray. 

A signifies a possession, and seems to be derived 
from Old Norse a, "I have," the first person singular 
of the verb eiga, to possess. The Ang.-Sax. has also 
ah, " he has," third person singular of the verb agan. 
Hence is probably derived the Old Eng. verb "awe," 
to own, still retained in the North of England. It 
occurs generally as an affix, as in Ulpha on the river 
Duddon, the territory or possession of XJlf. We have 
also another Ulpha near IVIilnthorpe, and Craika, 
Breada, and Torver, (Torfa f), the possessions respec- 
tively of Kraka, Breidr, and Torfi. Ulpha on the 
Duddon is recorded in the history of the county as 
being a grant made to one Ulf the son of Edred sub- 
sequently to the conquest, so that in this, as in some 
other cases, the name is not one derived from an 
original Scandinavian colonist, many of the Northmen 
resident in the district appearing to have received 


grants on the division of Cumberland by the followers 
of Ranulph de Meschines. In Iceland this word ap- 
pears to occur sometimes in an independent form, two 
farms mentioned in the Landnamabok being called 
simply A. 

Land is in itself a term eq\ially Anglo-Saxon an d 
Scandinavian. But in a great number of cases the 
compounds in which it occurs show it to be Scandina- 
vian, The following are instances of names the same 
in our district as in Norway : — 


















Rylands and Byglands derive their names from the 
produce of the land, rye and bigg^ the latter a provin- 
cial term still in use for a sort of barley. Lylands is 
so called from the provincial term tile, little, corres- 
ponding with the Danish lUle. Garlands signifies land 
protected by a fence. Old Norse gardr, a fence ; and 
Natland is from Old Norse naut, Dan. nod^ horned 

Some of the compounds in which it occurs appear to 
be rather Anglo-Saxon, as Threaplands — from Anglo- 
Saxon threapmn, provincial threap, to dispute, contend, 
referring to the quarrels or law-suits of which the pro- 
perty has been the subject. 

Earth, Old Norse jord, Anglo-Saxon earth, occurs 


sometimes in the sense of a farm or estate — a sense 
more particularly Scandinavian. Thus we have Hawk's 
Earth — the farm or property of a Northman named 

Thwaite. Norwegian thveU, Dan. tved. This is one 
of the most characteristic terms of our district, occur- 
ring the most frequently in Cumberland, which has 
about a hundred names in which it appears, being also 
very common in Westmoreland, becoming scarce as we 
advance into Yorkshire, and ceasing altogether when 
we arrive at the more purely Danish district of Lin- 
>^olnshire. This, however, we may attribute in part to 
the meaning of the word, which signifies a piece of land 
cleared in a forest. We may suppose the flat country 
of Lincolnshire and Yorkshire to have been already 
very much cleared of wood before the arrival of the 
Northmen, while the mountain country of Cumberland 
and Westmoreland was long afterwards covered with 
dense forests. But still, if this were the sole cause, we 
should scarcely expect to find the difierence so great as 
it actually is, and I am therefore disposed to consider 
this word as of Norwegian rather than of Danish 
origin. It may be objected that in the purely Norwe- 
gian districts of the North of Scotland it is almost 
altogether wanting. But for this we must seek an 
explanation in Noi'way itself, and we shall find that 
there, as here, it is confined exclusively to a certain 
district, viz., the south-west of the peninsula, where it 
is exceedingly common, while in the south it is alto- 
gether wanting. The former is that particular district 
of Norway from which I have supposed our settlers to 
have proceeded, while the latter may probably be that 
from which those of the North of Scotland were more 
f 0c^^p^ particularly derived. 


The name of the original settler or clearer is natu- 
rally one of very frequent occurrence. We have Burn- 
thwaite, Hallthwaite, Harrowthwaite, Linethwaite, 
Ormathwaite, Lockthwaite, Stangerthwaite, Tulli- 
thwaite, and Finsthwaite,'— rthfe^ last most appropriately 
]^ftC8d\in^tislaii(i. In these we trace the Scandina- 
vian proper names, Bibm, Hallr, Harald, Lina, Ormr, 
Loki, Stangar, Tuli, and Finni. In an ancient charter 
of Shap Abbey we find Siggethwaite, from Sigge, a title 
of Odin, " the victorious," whence Sigtun in Sweden, 
but in this case more probably derived from the same 
word as a proper name. 

The nature of the crop produced has also in some 
cases given the title to the place, as in Beanthwaite, 
Haverthwaite, Brackenthwaite, and Applethwaite, 
upon which last the author of one of the lake glossaries, 
containing otherwise many judicious etymologies, has 
wasted some ingenuity in deriving it from ea, Ang.- 
Sax., "water," and p^ll, Celtic, "water." We have 
also Apple-tree Thwaite, which on the above principle 
would require to be eked out with the Cornish tre. 
Rounthwaite is probably from the rowan or roan-tree, 
the mountain ash, which, when the owner cleared the 
ground, would be spared by reason of its sacred charac- u 
ter, and as a protection to the dwelling. '* 

Among the names corresponding in our district and 
in Norway we have — 


Birkthwaite Birkethvet 

Micklethwaite Myklethvet 

Braithwaite Braathveit 

Seathwaite Sjothveit 

Applethwaite Eplethvet 



Branthwaite Brandsthveit 

Birthwaite Borthveit 

Ruthwaite or 

Rughthwaite Rugthveit 

Ridding, Rudding, is from Old Norse rydia, Ang.- 
Sax. riddaUy to rid or clear. In the sense of cutting 
down trees, the word appears to be Scandinavian 
rather than Anglo-Saxon. Ridding implies a more 
general clearing than thwaite, which signifies simply a 
piece of land cleared, for the purpose of habitation or 
agriculture, in the midst of a forest. 

Side, Old Norse sida, Ang.-Sax. side, appears to 
be used in the sense of a settlement, or what the 
Americans would call a " location." Hence it is in 
most cases coupled with a proper name, as in Askel- 
side, Amside, Kettleside, Ormside, Rampside, Swine- 
side, Silverside, Wrenside, from the Scandinavian pro- 
per names Askel, Arni, Ketil, Ormr, Rempi, Sveinn, 
Solvor, and Hrani. We have also Yarlside, from Old 
Norse jcirl, whence English " earl," and Ambleside, 
formerly Hamelside, from Hamil, a Scandinavian pro- 
per name. The place is still called locally Amelside, 
Ravensworth in "Westmoreland, according to Nicholson 
and Burns, is called by the " common people" Raven- 
side, which is probably the true form — Rafii being a 
Scandinavian proper name and " worth" a pure Anglo- 
Saxon term of which scarcely an example is to be found 
in the district. 

Skew, Old Norse sk&, signifies a crooked or twisted 
place, Dan. skicev, crooked. We have Scalesceugh from 
skali, a booth or hut, or from Skal, a proper name ; 
Bamskew, from the proper name of Barna j and 


Scalderskew, from skdUd, a poet, but in this case pro- 
bably become a proper name. 

Ray, reay, is from Old Norse rd, a comer. We have 
Reay, a station on the Lancaster and Carlisle Railway 
— Dockray, from Doka, a Scandinavian proper name 
— EUeray, the late Professor Wilson's seat on Winder- 
mere, signifying " the corner among the alders" (Old 
Norse dl% an elder) — and many others. It occurs also 
in the Norwegian districts of Scotland, as in Reay, on 
the Pentland Frith. 

Having gone through the terms implying simply 
possession or location, we now come to treat of the 
divisions or boundaries of property. These consisted 
sometimes of a river or brook — sometimes of a hill 
or rock — ^but most frequently of a "gill," or small 
ravine. Hence the Rotha (formerly Rowtha) and the 
Rampsbeck are probably derived respectively from 
Raud and Rempi, names of Northmen, of whose pro- 
perties the river and the beck might be the boundaries. 
We have also Ravenbeck and Crumbeck (now cor- 
rupted into Crummock), from the proper names Rafn 
and Krumr, and many others. Gill, Old Norse gil, 
occurs so very frequently in connection with proper 
names as to show that it must have been a very 
common mark of division. We have Outh Gill, Becan's 
Gill, Buttergill, Coalgill, Garrigill, Gatesgill, Hawl 
GiU, HaUy GiU, Horn's Gill, Hethersgill, Ormsgill, 
Rampsgill, Sickergill, Stargill, Thursgill, Thortil Gill, 
from the names Audr, Bekan, Butar, Koli', G^iri, Geit, 
Hallr, Halli, Horn, Heidur, Ormr, Rempi, Sigar, 
Starri, Thor, and ThortiL 

When a natural boundary was wanting, a stone was 
«et up for that purpose, and hence are derived the 


names of a great number of places in the district. But 
as it is in most cases impossible to say whether a stone 
has been erected as a boundary, or as a baiUa, or 
memorial stone, I have referred to them in treating of 
the funeral remains of the Northmen. Sometimes a 
stone appears to have been placed in addition to the 
natural boundary, as in Backstone gill, where Bakki's 
property seems to have been designated both by a gill 
and by a bouadary stone. 

The terms implying boundary or division are grain, 
band, and md, which are accordingly found frequently 
coupled with the name of the object forming the 

Grain is from Ice. grein, a division, whence Brand- 
stone grain, the stone forming the boundary of Brandos 
property. It is a term still sometimes used in the 
district, as when a valley is said to branch out into two 
grains or divisions. The " Isle of Grain," at the mouth 
of the Thames, next to the Isle of Sheppey, is probably 
formed from this word, being separated by a small 
stream from the main land. 

Band, is probably from Old Norse and Ang.-Sax. 
handy a band or fastening, used in the sense of a boun- 
dary. Thus we have Taylor s gill band in Borrodale — 
the " gill" which formed Taylor's boundary. So also 
Millstone band, the stone which marked the boundaries 
of Mioll ; and Banderson*s band rocks, refening to the 
rocks which formed the boundary of Rariderson. 

Mdy Suio-Goth rrwi, from the verb mala, to measure, 
to mete out, enters into the composition of many 
names. We have Melguards, a boundary fence — 
Melbeck, a boundary brook — Mealy sike, a boundary 
watercourse, &c. 


We now come to the dwellings of the Northmen 
themselves, and proceed to examine the various terms ^ 
applied to the towns, villages, and the isolated habita- 
tions in the valleys and upon the mountains. 

Tliroughout the plain of Cumberland and Westmore- v/' 
. land we find the Sarxon ton and hami freely mingling 
^""with the Scandinavian hy. Neither ton nor hwm are, 
however, purely Anglo-Saxon — ^the former being also a 
Scandinavian term, though not in frequent use, while 
the latter, in the form of hdm^ is by no means uncom- 
mon in the Scandinavian north. Indeed some of the 
names in our district seem more probably derived from 
the Northmen, as Askham, " the home among the ash 
trees," which corresponds with the name Askheim, of 
two places in Norway. StiU, however, we cannot but 
consider these two words as generally of Anglo-Saxon 
origin. Of names more purely Saxon, such as worthy 
fcyrdy &c., so common in the south of England, we 
have scarcely an example. 

Though ton is common in the plain of Cumberland V 
and Westmoreland, in the mountain district it is a 
word of rare occurrence. Nor can this be said to be 
owing to the fact that we have there rather scattered 
and isolated dwellings than towns or collections of 
houses, for the word in Cumberland, particularly to- 
wards the Scottish border, is applied, in its oiiginal 
sense of an inclosure, even to a solitary farm house. 
In the mountain district the word corresponding is 
garth J which will be treated of in its place. / 

The most common Scandinavian term for a village, ' 
or collection of houses, taking the district generally, is — 

By. Old Norse hyr, boer, Danish by, Norwegian bo, 
and bo, from the verb bua, to dwell. This may be 


V eonsidered as one of the words which to a certain extent 
marks the Danish settlements as distinguished from the 
Norwegian. It is the term most common in Denmark, 
and in the more purely Danish districts of England. 
In the plain of Cumberland and Westmoreland it is 
of frequent occurrence, and as this part of the dis- 
district had at an earlier period been overrun by the 
Northumbrian Danes, it might have been already 
colonized by them to a certain extent at the time when 
I have supposed the Norwegians to have come over 
from the Isle of Man. This term, however, is by no 
means uncommon in Norway, nor in some of the dis- 
tricts colonized by the Northmen, as the Isle of Man, 
while the absence or rare occurrence of some of the 
other terms, more particularly Danish, especially in 
Cumberland, seems to militate against the theory of 
any considerable settlement of the Northumbrian 
Danes at the period above-mentioned. 

This term is frequently found coupled with a Scan- 
dinavian proper name, as in Melmerby, Gramblesby, 
Allonby, Lockerby, Hornsby, Harraby, Waitby, 
Thornby ; sometimes with that of a settler of late date, 
as E^berby, Rickerby or Richardby, and Botcherby, so 
called according to Denton's MSS., from one Botchard, 
a Fleming, who settled here in the time of Rufus. 
We have also Sowerby, the same name as Saurbaer, so 
often mentioned in the Icelandic chronicles ; derived, 
perhaps, from Old Norse saur, dung of cattle, and 
presenting a not very attractive picture of the original 
state of our pleasant villages of Temple and Castle 
Sowerby. Perhaps, however, more probably, both 
here and in Iceland, from Saur, a Scandinavian proper 
name. Ireby signifies, I apprehend, the Irishman's 


village. So the river Ira in Iceland took its name, 
signifying the Irishman's river, from a man of that 
nation who settled near it. 

This word occurs sometimes, particularly in West- ^ 

moreland, in the form of ber, more nearly resembling 
the Old Norse beer, as in Whaitber, the village of 

Thorp, Old Norse thorp, has much the same meaning 
as by, viz., that of a village or small collection of 
houses. It is a word which, as much as any other, 
characterizes the Danish districts as distinguished from 
the Norwegian. In Denmark it is extremely common, 
though appearing in the corrupted form of drup, and 
in the more purely Danish districts of England it is \^j^j„^..cju*J^ 
also of very frequent occurrence. In Norway, on the ,^j^^ ^ tfcu« 
other hand, and in the Norwegian settlements, it ?|5vw 

occurs but very rarely. As in Cumberland, also, there 
is not a single instance, and in Westmoreland but very 
few ; the word seems to be one which marks by its 
absence the Norwegian character of the district. 

Of those in Westmoreland we have Hackthorpe, 
Crackenthorpe, and Melkenthorpe, containing the 
Scandinavian proper names Haki, Kraka, and Melker. 
Or Crackenthorpe may perhaps rather be from krdka, 
a crow — krdkin with the definite article affixed — the 
crow thorpe. 

Toft, Old Norse toft, topt, Suio-Goth tomt, Anglo- 
Saxon toft, signifies the inclosure of a house, or of a 
field adjoining a dwelling. The original form was 
most probably t(ymJb, from torn,, empty. The con- 
sonants^ p, and m are frequently interchanged in the 
Scandinavian languages. Like the last, this word is 
common in Denmark, and in the Danish districts of 


England ; scarce in Norway, scarce also in Westmore- 
land, and unknown in Cumberland I take it then to 
be another of the terms which mark the difference be- 
tween the Danish and Norwegian settlements. 

Garthf gua/rdSf Old Norse ga/rdry Anglo-Saxon ge(vrd. 
This word, common to most of the Gothic dialects, has 
for its primary meaning that of a fence or hedge, 
whence is derived its secondary and usual meaning of a 
place guarded or protected by a fence. As the Anglo- 
Saxon form has been softened into yard, so the Scan- 
dinavian of the north of England into garth, though in 
many cases it still retains its original form of guard or 
guards. There is perhaps no word that appears in so 
great a variety of Scandinavian compounds as this. 
We have Melguards, from Mdlga/rd/r, " a boundary 
fence" — Staingarth, steinga/rdr, " a place surrounded by 
a stone fence" — Skygarth, skidga/rdr, (in Norway sJdg- 
aa/rd) " a place inclosed by wood palings" — also Garlands, 
gardlamd, " land surrounded by a fence." We have 
likewise Gasgarth, gcLsgardr, "an inclosure for geese" 
— Deargarth, on the side of Helvellyn, dyrga/rdr, " a 
deer park" — Applegarth, eptegardr, "an orchard" — 
and Hogarth, Jwgardr, "an inclosure for hay." From 
this last is derived the name of the celebrated painter 
who was a native of this district. The term used by 
the Icelandic writers for a garden is grasgardr, which, 
in the form of Grassgarth, occurs in one or two 
instances in Cumberland and Westmoreland. They 
had also kulgardr, a vegetable garden, whence probably 
the origin of Calgarth on Windermere. A word in 
daily use is Kirkgarth, Old Norse hyrkiugardr, "a 
church yard." And an old charter of Lanercost Priory 
describes the coops or places for catching salmon in 


the Eden by the name of "fishgarths," Old Norse 

In the sense of an intrenched camp we have it in 
the names of two places in Cumberland, called Cunning 
Garth or Conning Gurth — "The king's camp," Old 
Norse konungr, Anglo-Saxon cyning^ a king. One of 
these, near Wigton is a square entrenchment of about 
40 yards each way, having in its vicinity several 
^ barrows — the graves, in all probability, of those who 
fell in the attack upon the camp. 

like the Saxon tun^ the Scandinavian gardr acquired 
the meaning of a town, or place surrounded by walls 
— ^thus Constantinople was called by the Northmen 
Myklegardr, " the great city." 

Bow is from Old Noi-se hol^ a dwelling. We have 

Bows, Bowness, Bow Fell, Bowscale Tarn, &c. In some 

cases the change of I into w \& oi comparatively recent 

date, Bowness being called by Leland Bolness, and by 

\ Camden Bulness. The word has also the meaning of 

Via wild beast's den, in which sense it may possibly be 

j used in some instances. 

Scahj Old Norse skdl% signifies a wooden hut or 
log house. In the lake district, where the trees on the 
mountain sides naturally furnished the most convenient 
material for building, the word is of very common 
occui-rence. As might be expected, it is coupled in 
many cases with the name of the person who erected 
or occupied the dwelling. Thus we have Gudderscales, 
Heggerscale, Thomyscale, and Linskell, from the 
proper names Guddar, Heggr, Thorny, and Lina. We 
have also Bonscale, from hondi, a peasant, and Hud- 
scales, Old Norse hud, a hide, perhaps from the skins 
of wild beasts laid over the roof as shelter, or nailed on 


the sides as trophies. The Old Norse skdl signifies a 
bowl, which may be the meaning in some cases, as 
Scaleforce, perhaps in reference to the basin formed by 
the water. In some other cases, as Scaleby, Scal- 
thwaite, Scalehill, the word may be derived from Skdl, 
a Scandinavian proper name. In Northumberland 
" scale" changes into "shield," or "shieL" 

It may be noticed that 8c (in English generally 
softened into sh) enters into the root of a great number 
of Teutonic words of which the original sense is shelter 
or covering. We have sky, skin, sconce, screen, shell, 
sheath, shade, shut, shoe, shirt, shroud, shy, shun, 
sculk, and many others. 

Booth, Old Norse hudy is probably from the same 
root as by. We have Boothby, the booth village, and 
Bouderdale, corresponding to Budardal in Iceland, 
from hudar, plural of hild. 

Cot, cote, Icel. kot, Ang.-Sax. ct)te, signifies a hut. 
Hesket in Inglewood Forest might probably be a place 
where horses were kept for the chase — Hest-cot, from 
Old Norse hestr, a horse. 

Biggen (Old Norse hygging, a building,) is a common 
word in Scotland and the North of England. We 
have Newbiggen and Sunbiggen — ^the latter possibly 
from sunnr, another form of svdr, south. 

Stead, Old Norse stadr, stodd, Ang.-Sax. stede, 
signifies the site of a building, from Old Norse stedia, 
to place. It is applied either to an existing building 
or to the ruined site of an ancient edifice. Thus the 
place where the Temple of Thor is supposed to have 
stood near Thursby is caUed Kirksteads. It is also 
applied sometimes to the place of a grave, as in 
Ormsted HiU, the grave of Orme, near Penrith. 

Honister Ci'ag may probably be a corruption of Hog- 
nistadr, from the proper name of Hogni. This I sup- 
pose from the frequency with which stadr has been 
corrupted into ster in the Norwegian part of Scotland. 

Dacre or daker may perhaps be derived from Old 
Norse ddlkar, plural of ddlkr, of which the original 
meaning is that of the back-bone of an animal, to 
which the ribs are fastened. Hence the present mean- 
ing, which I take to be that of the columns or posts 
sustaining the frame-work of a log-house. We have 
Dacre, Dakers, and Daker-stead — the first-named, 
which is situated about five miles from Penrith, being 
the place which has given the name to the family of 
Dacre. The tradition that it was derived from the 
exploits of one of the family at the siege of Acre, by 
which he acquired the surname of d'Acre, seems to me 
to be destitute of all probability. Like most of the 
families of the district, the Dacres no doubt took their 
name from the place, Dacre, where they were settled. 
And the name of that place dates as far back as the 
time of Athelstane, in whose reign a congress was held 
here. Its present Norman spelling arises no doubt 
from the manner in which it is entered in the Domes- 
day book. 

The above etymology of this word must be under- 
stood as somewhat conjectural. 

Seat is from the Old Norse setr^ signifying primarily 
a seat or dwelling, but applied usually to an abode upon 
the side of a mountain. The Norwegian seter is a 
pasture upon a mountain side, to which, as it is often 
at a considerable distance from the rest of the farm, is 
usually attached a wooden hut, similar to the summer 
chalets of Switzerland, for the temporary residence of 


the herdsmen. The more accessible character of our 
mountains of course renders any such arrangement 
unnecessary, and the " seat" is usually a farm house on 
the lower slope of the mountain, with a right of pasture 
above, and the rest of the farm around. 

In many cases, both here and in Norway, it is coupled 
with the name of the original owner, as in Seatallan, 
Seat Robert in our district — Ellanseter, Thorset, and 
Ulvset, in Norway. 

In most instances, however, with us the name has 
become that of the mountain itself, but a sufficient num- 
ber remain to show the original meaning of the word. 
Thus we have Seatoller, " the seat of Oiler," a small 
hamlet near the black-lead mine in the upper part of 
Borrodale. The mountain itself is called Seatollar 
Fell, but there is another mountain called simply Sea- 
tollar, which no doubt was also called originally Sea- 
tollar Fell. 

Sd. Old Norse and Ang.-Sax. sd. Suio-Goth sal. 

This word, in the former of these two languages, has 

much the same meaning as the foregoing, but in the 

latter appears to have been used more in the general 

sense of a " seat,*' or mansion. The few cases in which 

it occurs in our district scarcely enables us to ascertain 

the precise sense in which it was used, but some of the 

words, such as Selside pike. Black Sail, and Sale Fell, 

seem to imply rather the former or Scandinavian 


/ Cove, I take to be from Old Norse^ kofi, another of 

P:\l^ / the many terms for a shepherd's hut upon the moun- 

fjU \ tains. Red Cove and Kepple Cove are both probably 

\ derived from proper names. 

Galef Old Norse geilf signifies a place situated in the 


liollow of a hill, or the comer of a ravine. It appears 
to be allied to " gill," a ravine. We have Gale garth, 
Gale hows. Gale barns, <fec., also Thomeygale, from 
Thomey, a proper name. In Iceland we have Grettis- 
geil, from Gretter, a proper name. 

Laith, Ice. hlada^ a barn, from Old Norse hlada, to OtV^^ k o^j^- 
store or heap up, occurs in the names of many places, ^ (J^j.'-* >'* 
and is still in use in the district. 

Gate, Old Noi*se gata, signifies a road, also the 
street of a town. It is stHl retained in the Swedish gat 
or gojta, but in Denmark and Norway has passed into 
gade. In all the old towns of Scotland and the North 
of England this word occurs very frequently in the 
names of streets, but in some of those in Yorkshire the 
word " street" has, lq defiance of etymology, been added 
to it. Throughout Cumberland and Westmoreland it 
also occurs very commonly in the sense of a road or 
way ; and is not unfrequently joined with a proper 
name, as Clappersgate, Mainsgate, and HoUowgate, 
probably from the names Klappi, Mani, and Oiler. 
So in Iceland we have Bardargata from Bardi, a proper 

Street f Old Norse strceti, Ang.-Sax. street j occurs in 
the sense of a road or way. Thus the mountain High 
Street takes its name from the Boman road carried 
over its summit at the height of 2,700 feet above the 
sea. Some discussion took place a few years ago in 
Notes and Queries as to whether the name Finkle street, 
so common in the towns in the North of England, is 
derived from the Scandinavian vinkel, a corner, or from 
fenkel, fennel, supposed to be grown in the gardens of 
neighbouring cod vents. There are two reasons which 
render probable the former of these suppositions ; a 


corner street in Christiania is called Vinkel gade, and 
a road which passes by the corner of Derwentwater Ls 
called Finkle street. 

Fort, Ice. and Ang.-Sax. port, signifies the gate of a 
town. This is the ordinary Scandinavian sense, but 
not the usual Anglo-Saxon meaning, which is that of 
a harbour. The gates of Copenhagan are called Norre- 
port, Yest-port, " North-gate," " West-gate," <fec. And 
an old postern gate of Carlisle was always called " The 
Sally-port." The late Mr. Just, of Bury, also gives to 
this word the meaning of a fortified passage over a 

Skans, Ice. a fort, occurs in the name of Scandale, 
near the old camp at the head of Windermere. This 
is a derivation suggested by the author of the glossary 
in Black's guide. 

Stock, Old Norse stockr, Ang.-Sax. stoc, a stick, 
signifies a place protected by a stockade. We have 
Stockholme, Brunstock, Linstock, Greystock, &c. Lye 
has stoc, Ang.-Sax., a place, but it may be a question 
whether the above is not the original meaning of the 
term both in the North and in the South of England. 

Wark, is from Old Norse virki, a fortification. 
Warcop, as suggested by the anonymous writer in the 
'* Kendal Mercury," is probably derived from the above 
and Old Norse op or hop, a place of refuge. Bum's 
Wark is the name of a hill in Dumfriesshire, so called 
from a Roman fort upon its summit, which, judging by 
the name, seems to have been occupied subsequently 
either by a Northman called Biom, or in still later 
times by a Scotchman named Bums, a name derived, as 
I take it, from the Scandinavian name of Biorn. 

Before concluding this chapter it may not be out of 


place to refer to the holmegang or duel of the North- V 
men, of which we may perhaps find a trace in some of 
those ancient monuments still remaining in the district, 
and of which the use has long been a puzzle to anti- 
quaries. This species of single combat was, as its name 
implies, originally held in a " holme" or island, but in 
inland situations a place artificially enclosed was of 
necessity substituted for the purpose. Hence is sup- 
posed to have been the origin of some of the quad- 
rangular inclosures found in Denmark and other Scan- 
dinavian countries.* And it seems to me not impro- 
bable that this may have been the purpose to which 
the circular inclosure near Penrith, called "Arthur's 
^O^'Rm^" may have been applied. Among the various 
uses suggested by antiquarians is that of a place for 
holding tournaments, for which it is manifestly too 
small, though well adapted for the purpose of the 
holmegang. This, however, is of course nothing more 
than conjecture. It is probable that the Norwegian 
" duel of the girdle," practised up to the beginning of 
the last century, and in which the combatants were 
still more efiectually secured from running away by 
being buckled together by a girdle round their waists, 
and then left to fight it out with their knives, may 
have been a relic of the ancient holmegang. But in 
this case the ferocity of the old Sea-kings seems to 
have sufiered anything but a mitigation. For, whereas 
it was a law of the old holmegang that the swords of 
the combatants should be of equal length, the regula- 
tions of the " duel of the girdle" were such as to give 
the longest blade to the strongest arm — each man, be- 

* See " Griide to Northern Archaeology," by Lord Ellesmere. 


fore commencing, striking his knife with all his force 
into a block of wood, and that part of the blade not 
buried being then carefully bound round with leather 



We might naturally expect to find, not only in the 
names of places, but also in the remains actually exist- 
ing, many traces of the burial-places of the Northmen. 
For the rude cairn, the simple mound, and the unhewn 
memorial stone survive when the more artificial records 
of man's occupation have long been swept away. And 
this, too, is more particularly the case from the feeling 
which prompted the Scandinavian Vikings to erect 
their tombs upon high and conspicuous situations, in 
order that all who passed by might be reminded of 
their name and of their achievements. Hence they 
have in many cases been placed in situations where 
they have escaped, if not altogether, at least for a 
longer period, the hand of agricultural improvement. 
Mr. Worsaae has observed, that "to the ancient North- 
man it was evidently an almost insufierable thought 
to be buried in a confined or remote corner, where 
nobody could see his grave, or be reminded of his 
deeds. The greater chief a man was the more did he 
desire that his * barrow' should be high and uninclosed, 
so that it might be visible to all who travelled by land 
and by sea. United with this desire to live in the 
memory of posterity, the Viking certainly also indulged 
the secret belief that his spirit or ghost would at times 
arise from the barrow to look out upon that beloved 


sea, and to refresh itself, after the gloomy closeness of 
the grave, with the cool breezes which play upon its 

Hence an appropriate spot would be the island close 
to the main-land at the extremity of Fumess, which, 
from its name, " Old Barrow Island," would seem to 
have been a favourite resting-place of the Northmen. 
But the island has been long under cultivation, and 
few or no traces remain of the graves from which it has 
derived its name. Fumess itself is called in the 
Domesday survey " Hougun," probably from Old Norse 
haugr, a grave mound. At the furthest point of Cum- 
berland stands Hodbarrow, the grave of Oddi, in a 
situation overlooking the estuary of the Duddon ; just 
such a place as the Northmen loved. There are a few 
other nameless barrows along the shore, one of which, 
near Maryport, tradition still points out as the grave of 
a king. Inland, hills already existing were generally 
selected for the purpose, in most cases in conspicuous 
situations, and frequently of considerable elevation. 
>«• Not a few of these still hand down, after the lapse of 
so many ages, the name of the old Yiking who sleeps 
upon their summit. For it was in accordance with 
the practice of the Northmen to give the name of the 
departed chief not only to the mound in which he was 
buried, but also in many cases to the valley or plain 
in which it was situated. Upon many of the lower 
heights which encircle our beautiful lakes the Viking 
has reared his tomb — from the summit of Silver How 
an old chieftain looks down upon the lowly grave of 
"Wordsworth ; and the tourist, as he climbs upon 
Butterlip How, a favourite site for a survey of the 
lovely plain of Grasmere, treads over the ashes of a 


once nimble-footed Northman. We might almost 
imagine, in the stillness of a summer eve, the ghosts 
of those grim old warriors, seated each on his sepulchral 
hill, looking down, as was their fond belief in life, 
upon the peaceful scene below. Silver How is derived 
from the proper name of Solvar, while in Butterlip How 
we find the name Buthar Lipr, (pronounced, as nearly 
as may be, Butterlip,) Buthar the nimble. There was 
another Buthar, whose name is found in Butter eld 
keld, in Eskdale, and who seems to have been called, for 
distinction, Buthar Elldr, Buthar the old or the elder. 
We might be disposed to conclude, from the many 
instances in which we find them associated with a 
Scandinavian proper name, that those mountains, many 
of them of considerable height, in the lake district, 
which bear the name of " barrow," are so called from 
having been the barrows or graves of Northmen. We have 
Anglebarrow, Backbarrow, Buckbarrow, Burnbarrow, 
Battlebarrow, Gowbarrow, Lockerbarrow, Bainsbarrow, 
Thombarrow, and Whitbarrow, which seem to be derived 
from the Scandinavian proper names Angel, Bakki, 
Bukkr, Biom, Beitill, G6, Loki or Loker, Hrani, 
Thorny, and Hvti. One or two of them, as Buckbar- 
row, Thombarrow, and Battlebarrow, might be other- 
wise derived, the last from " battle," fertile, but most 
of them are evidently from Scandinavian proper names. 
It is probable that in some eases these have been graves 
of Northmen, as upon Whitbarrow, for instance, was 
formerly a circle of stones, now removed, such as it will 
be shewn in a subsequent part of this chapter the 
Northmen were accustomed to erect upon, or around 
their graves. But in many cases there is no appearance 
of any sepulchral remains, and as "barrow," (Old Norse 



^ herg, Anglo-Sax. beorh,) signifies in its primary sense 
simply a mountain or hill, the proper name may be 
attached to it in the same sense as that in which some 
of the " fells" also bear Scandinavian proper names. 

With more certainty we trace the meaning of the 
word "how" to be in many cases, if not invariably, 
that of a sepulchral hilL The Old Norse haugr 
appeal's not to have been confined exclusively to an 
artificial mound, but the verb hauga, to heap up, from 
which it is derived, seems to show that such was at all 
events its primary meaning. Many of our " hows" are 
coupled with a Scandinavian proper name, and in some 
cases actual examination has shown them to be graves of 
Northmen. We have Blackhow, Brownhow, Bull How, 
Bought How, Broad How, Com How, Oropple How, 
Flake How, Gunner's How, Hund How, Kemp How, 
Kitt's How, Lowdenhow, formerly Lodenhow, Lamb 
How, Ott's How, Redhow, Scoathow, Silver How (2), 
Souty How, Scale How, Tanner How, Thorny How, 
Toi'penhow, Whelphow, Whitehow, and Wad's How, 
in which, with more or less certainty, we trace the 
proper names Blaka, Bruni, Boll, Bot, Breid or Broddr, 
Korni, Kroppi, Floki, Gunnar, Hundi, Kempi, Kott, 
Lodinn, Lambi, Oddr,^ Bod, Sktita, Solvar, Soti, Skal, 
Tanni, Thorny, Thorping, ffialp, Hviti, and Vadi. 
Also Butterlip How, as before mentioned, from the 
name of Buthar Lipr. We have likewise Yardliow, 
probably from Old Norse jarda, to bury, and a place 
called Jordans, perhaps from Old Norse ^arc^aw, burial. 
In many cases instead of "how" we have "hill," 
as in Grim's Hill, Holbom Hill (2), Beacon Hill, 

(1) Or Otr, a name recently discovered on a runic inscription in the 
Isle of Man. 


Buraey HiU, Butter HUl, Amber HiU, Airey HiU, 
Grimer HiU, Hunger Hill, Mill Hill, Meldon HiU, 
Roe HiU, and Silver HiU, from the names Grimr, 
Halbiom, Bekan, Birna, Buthar, Ambar, Ari, Grimar, 
Hunger, MioU, Meldun, Hroi, and Solvar. We have 
also Rose HiU, which, as I take it, has nothing to do 
with roses, but is properly Roe's Hill, the same as one 
of the above, from the Old Norse name Hr6i, whence 
Dan. Roe, as in Roeskilde, and Eng. Rowe and Roe. 
Hr6i signifies a king, chief, warrior, being cognate 
with " hero," and probably, as Haldersen suggests, the 
origin of the French roi. But the EngUsh Roe is best 
known as the hero of a very unromantic legal fiction. 
These names do not necessarily show the places to have 
been graves, as some of them may have been places of 
residence, but in the case of two of the above, Beacon 
HUl and MiU HUl, which were some time since ex- 
plored, the result of the examination was such as to 
prove them to be so. Holbom Hill is the same name 
as that of one of the great thoroughfares of London — 
could it have been the case that in the days when 
infant London stiU clung close to the side of its mother 
Thames, some old Scandinavian Yiking gathered up 
the earth outside the town into a mound, Uttle thinking 
what an eternal nuisance he was about to make, and 
what a noisy grave he was to have ? 

Upon the top of the sepulchral mound, and covering 
the place where the body was laid, it was sometimes 
the practice of the Northmen, instead of a forced heap 
of earth, to erect a cairn or pUe of stones, caUed in the 
district a " raise," from the Old Norse reysa. Many 
of the mountains of our district take their names from 
such a cairn or pUe of stones, as High Raise, White 





Raise, (fee, but the pile of stones might not necessarily 
in all cases be erected with a funereal intention. In 
Nicholson and Burn's history of Cumberland we read 
that "at a place called Spying How, in Troutbeck, 
there was a heap of stones called ' the raise,' which the 
inhabitants took away to make their fences withal, and 
found therein a chest of four stones, one at each side, 
and one at each end, full of dead men's bones.'* This 
was probably one of the burial places of the Northmen, 
though the terms "how" and "raise" do not in them- 
selves conclusively prove the Scandinavian origin of 
the grave. For the Northmen would naturally give 
their own names to all sepulchral remains which they 
might find already existing — thus the heap of stones 
over the grave of the British king Dunmail is called 
by the Scandinavian name of " raise," the Celtic term 
for such a pile being " cairn." 

But when we find — as in so many cases we do — the 
sepulchre actually bearing the clearly ascertained name 
of a Northern chief, we can no longer have any reason- 
able doubt as to its origin. Such a case is that of the 
one called Loden How, which was opened, as we learn 
from Hutchinson, about a century ago, on which 
occasion two urns were found covered with flat stones, 
one of which contained burnt bones, and the other a 
scull of enormous size ; in each urn was also enclosed 
a small cup. Another of the mounds before-mentioned, 
viz.. Mill Hill, which the owner totally removed, and 
by so doing recovered 940 yards of valuable land, was 
found to contain an urn similar to the above, in which 
were enclosed two small vessels — one filled with black 

Both these ^k«s»- graves, it appears, that of Lodinn 


and that of Mioll, belonged to what Northern anti- 
quarians have entitled the " age of burning," and so 
far as we can judge from the partial examination that 
has been made, so do most of those in our district. 
The name of Cinderbarrow, which is given to two or 
three hills in the district, may possibly be derived from 
Old Norse sindur, Ang.-Sax. sinder, dross, cinders, the 
substance remaining after combustion, and bear allu- 
sion to the practices of the " age of burning." But 
more probably from the proper name Sindur, or Sindri, 
found in the Scandinavian mythology. 

The quantity of bones found on some of these occa- 
sions may arise from the practice of the Pagan Vikings 
to bury along with a departed chief, not only his war- 
horse, in order that he might ride in state into the 
hall of Odin, but also in some cases followers or friends, 
who might either be killed in battle along with him, 
or voluntarily sacrifice themselves to accompany their 
lord. The bones of gigantic size may generally be 
considered as those of the horse, but the scull found at 
Loden How was evidently that of the chief Lodinn 
himself. Other remains which have been found testify 
to the enormous stature of some of these Northern 

It would seem from the Icelandic sages to have been 
a not uncommon thing for one of those daring sea- 
rovers to be buried underneath the trusty ship which 
had born him in safety so often across the waves, and 
which waa placed, keel uppermost, above his grave. 
One might almost be tempted to think, from some 
names such as Boathow, Kilhow, and Kelbarrow, (Old 
Norse kialy keel of a ship, and metaphorically the ship 
itself,) that a similar practice had prevailed in this dis- 



trict. But as we learn from Olaus Wormius that the 
Northmen were also in the habit of making their sepul- 
chral mounds in the form of a ship turned keel upper- 
most, or, as he expresses it, " ad magnitudinem et 
figuram carinse maximse navis regiae," this may account 
for the names in question, the last of which, moroever, 
might also be derived from Kel or Keld, a fountain. 
So also Boathow might be derived from the proper 
name of B6t, which is probably the same name as in 
another place called Boughthow. 

Either in the vicinity of the sepuchral mound, or in 
some other conspicuous situation, if not in some cases 
upon the mound itself, the Northmen were accustomed 
to erect a tall, upright stone in memory of the deceased. 
This was called a bauta-stone, and the erection of such 
memorials to those who had distinguished themselves 
in battle was enjoined by Odin as a sacred duty. 

As well as the bauta, or memorial stone, they also 
frequently erected a circle, consisting of a single or a 
double row of large stones, round the base or the sum- 
mit of the sepulchral mound. Of this sort of grave 
our district is not wanting in examples. We have 
Ormsted hill on the banks of the Eamont, near Penrith 
— a circular mound 60 feet in diameter, set round with 
large grit stones. It is described in Hutchinson's his- 
toiy of the county, but has, I think, been since re- 
moved, as I have not been able to find it. This has 
been, no doubt, the grave of a Northman named 
Orme, "stead" or "steads" being a common Scan- 
dinavian and Anglo-Saxon term applied to a grave. 
In the Landnamabok of Iceland a barrow is some- 
times called a stod steinn, " stone stead," and^in 
Modern Danish a grave is called gravsted, while the 


name of Horeted, in Kent, is stated by Camden to be 
derived from the s;mve of Horsa, who is supposed to 
have been buried there. 

There was a similar mound on Broadfield common, 
called Souden hill, perhaps from the proper name of 
Suda, but more probably from Old Norse saudr, a 
sheep, a term further referred to among the names of 
mountains. This was about 40 feet in diameter, and 
having a circle of granite stones set round the top. It 
was opened in 1788, when there appeared several st-one 
chests, filled with human bones. / 

The usual term for such a circle in the district is ^ 
" kirock " or " currock," which Hutchinson suggests, 
in which I am disposed to agree with him, may be the 
Old Norse kyrkia, Ang.-Sax. cyricj a church or temple, 
in the original and primitive sense in which the word 
was used. In confirmation of this, we have some in- 
stances in which the word has passed into its present 
form of " kirk,'' as in " Sunken kirks," the name of one 
of these circles near Milium, " Kirkstones," the name 
of another near Gutterby, and Kirkbarrow, the name 
of one or two hills which have probably had a circle of 
stones around them. Carrock Fell, near Caldbeck, 
takes its name in all probability from the circle of 
stones heaped together, apparently with a religious 
purpose, round its summit. And there is little doubt 
that Kirkstone Fell, over which the road passes be- 
tween Patterdale and Ambleside, derives its name, not 
from any fancied resemblance which its rocks bear to a 
church, but from a circle of stones now destroyed, re- 
ferring in a more literal manner to the original meaning 
of the word " kirk." Upon Mickle Fell, on the borders ^ 
of Westmoreland and Yorkshire, is a place called 


" Currock-in-Bought," a name in which the circle of 
stones and the single bauta seem to be brought into 

As to the etymology of the word, it might be from 
the Celtic ca/rregj (in Cornish carrac), a rock, whence 
by contraction " craig ;" or from Celtic giracay to form 
a circle. But the word does not appear to be in use 
in this sense in the Celtic part of England. And it 
has moreover a still more significant etymon in the 
Teutonic languages — Old Norse kera to elect, and reckr, 
a hero, leader, cognate with Lat. rex, whence rikij rule, 
dominion. The Aug.- Sax. has also eyre, choice, elec- 
tion, and rica, a ruler. This etymology, then, would 
refer to another of the purposes for which these stone 
circles were used by the Teutonic nations — that of the 
election of their leaders or kings, and wo\ild appear to 
stamp it as older than the religious or monumental use. 
Moreover, the Norse kera, to elect, appears to be de- 
rived from, or at any rate connected with kerra upp, 
to lift up — referring to the practice of making the 
newly-elected chief stand upon a high stone in the cen- 
tre of the circle, to be seen by all around. 

Presuming, then, the word Kirrock to be the origin 
of kirk or church, it seems to me to cast more than 
doubt upon the ordinary derivation of the word from 
the Greek KvptaKi^. I quote the following account of 
its introduction, according to the received theory, from 
one of the most popular works of an elegant and accom- 
plished writer.* " There can, I think, be no reason- 
able doubt that * church ' is originally from the Greek, 
and signifies ^ that which pertains to the Lord,' or * the 
house which is the Lord's.' But here a difficulty meets 

* Trench on the Study of Words. 


us. How explain the presence of a Greek word in the 
vocabulary of our Anglo-Saxon forefathers? for that 
we derive the word mediately from them, and not im- 
mediately from the Greek, is certain. What contact, 
direct or indirect, was there between the languages to 
account for this ? The explanation is curious. While 
the Anglo-Saxons and other tribes of the Teutonic 
stock were almost universally converted through con- 
tact with the Latin church in the western provinces of 
the Roman empire, or by its missionaries, yet it came 
to pass that before this some of the Goths on the Lower 
Danube had been brought to the knowledge of Christ 
by Greek missionaries from Constantinople ; and this 
word KvpiaKrj, or 'church,' did, with certain others, 
pass over from the Greek to the Gothic tongue ; and 
these Goths, the first converted to the Christian faith, 
the first therefore that had a Christian vocabulary, lent 
the word in their turn to the other German tribes, 
among others to our Anglo-Saxon forefathers ; thus it 
has come round by the Goths from Constantinople to 

Now this theory, upon the face of it, I hold to be 
impossible ; and that it has not appeared in this light 
to so thoughtful a student as Mr. Trench I take to be 
owing to his having assumed the fact, and considered 
only the manner. That even the nearest pagan neigh- 
bours of the converted Goths should, without adopting 
any part of their Christianity, adopt their new word 
for a church, would be most improbable. Why should 
they ? All nations have words of their own to express 
their holy places, and a christian term would naturally 
be repugnant to a heathen. But that these christian 
Goths should succeed in implanting it, not only upon 


their nearest Pagan neighbours, but upon universal 
Teutonic heathendom — that this word should go forth, 
gaining over tribe after tribe to its use — crossing the 
seas, and penetrating even to the inaccessible corners 
of Norway; and that all alone — no ray of christian 
light accompanying it — would be a phenomenon un- 
heard of in the history of languages. And it must be 
observed that it would only be as heathens that the 
Teutonic tribes could have adopted the word. When 
the Anglo-Saxons, for instance, were converted by 
missionaries of the Latin church, there were no cir- 
cumstances which would have given them the word if 
they had not already possessed it as heathens. 

The truth is, I apprehend, that the Gothic word is, 
in some form or other, as old as the Greek, and that 
both are members of the same great family the brother- 
hood of which philology is daily more strongly asserting. 
Ihre, who has gone into the subject with his usual 
ftdness, has given the conjectures of various writers 
upon the subject. Schilter and Koerber derive kirwhe 
from kiren to elect — the church being the assembly of 
the chosen — ^this corresponds with the Greek eKKXya-Lo. 
Diecman and Staden derive it from the Alemannic 
richi a kingdom — the church being the kingdom of 
Christ. The manner in which we find what I take to 
be the Pagan use of the word in our district induces 
me to combine these two derivations, and to make the 
religious a secondary use of the word. 

Yet still the word might be cognate with the Greek, 
for KvpLos a lord (pronounced kyrios), may probably be 
connected in its root with kera to elect, kerra to 

Olaus Magnus is of opinion that such circles denote 


the graves of a family, and this appears to derive some 
confirmation from the number of separate chests found 
on some occasions, as in one of the graves before de- 
scribed. I should, however, be disposed to think, 
looking at the apparent meaning of the word, that it 
had a wider aim — that, while the object of the bauta- 
stone was monumental, that of the kirock was religious 
— implying, in fact, the consecration of the spot. 
Thus, while we sometimes find a grave surrounded by 
its own circle, in other cases, we find a single kirock 
surrounded by a number of barrows, to all of which it 
appears to have dispensed the odour of sanctity. We 
sometimes find a kirock surrounded by barrows in the 
vicinity of an entrenched camp, apparently the scene 
of a battle, in which case it is more natural to suppose 
the graves to be those of various chieftains who fell in 
the conflict, than of any particular family. And in 
some cases, as that of the celebrated Stones of Stennis, 
in the Orkneys, graves, supposed to be those of North- 
men, have been placed, no doubt from a belief in the 
peculiar sanctity of the spot, around one of the stone 
circles of the older inhabitants. The author of the 
" Cumberland and Westmoreland Dialects" describes a 
kirock as denoting not only a burial place, but as also 
used for a boundary mark, and for a guide to travellei*s. 
I apprehend, however, that though it might serve for 
both the latter purposes, neither of them was present 
in the intention of the pei'son who erected it. That 
feeling among the Northmen to which I have before 
alluded, would naturally lead them to erect their 
tombs by the side of public ways where they would be 
seen by all who passed, and consequently, though not 
designedly, they would serve as marks to guide the 



traveller. And though it may ofteu be difficult to 
decide whether a single stone has been placed as a 
boundary, or as a memorial stone, I am not aware of 
any grounds for supposing that a circle was ever erected 
as a boundary, though, as presenting a permanent and 
conspicuous mark, it has no doubt often been made 
use of for that purpose. 

A great number of places in the district fake their 
names from the monumental stones of Northmen, and 
still preserve the name of the person to whom they 
were erected, though in most cases the stones them- 
selves have long since disappeared. We have Raven- 
stonedale, the valley of the memorial stone of Rafn, 
also Alston, Dalston, XJlverston, Spurston, Thomey 
Stone, Angle Stones, Hilderstone, Maires Stone, Stony- 
Stone, Stanner's Stone, and Otter Stone, probably 
containing the names Ali, Delia, Ulfar, Sporr, Thorny, 
Angel, Hildur, Mar, Steini, Steinar, and Ottar. The 
last-named place, which is by the side of Ullswater, 
U has, in modern guide-books, been altered, from misap- 
prehension of its meaning, into Altar Stone. We have 
also Millstone How, referring to the monumental stone 
upon the grave of Miollj Yardstone, probably from 
Old Norse jar da, to bury,* and Sorrow Stones, ap- 
parently expressing the sentiment which dictated a 
memorial to one whose name has been forgotten. 

In some of these instances it is probable, as I have 
before mentioned, that the stone may have been 
erected as a boundary of land, and not as a bauta or 
memorial stone. 

* Or from Jord a property or estate, of which the stone might be the 



Some of the larger stone monuments appear also to 
bear Scandinavian names. Of these one of the most 
remarkable is that near Shap called Caii Lofts, but 
neither the object of the structure, nor the meaning of 
its name, can be very satisfactorily explained. It con- 
sists of an avenue of about half a mile in length, formed 
by two pai*allel lines of granite stones placed from sixty 
to eighty feet apart, and terminating at the south end 
in a circle eighteen feet in diameter, composed of similar 
stones. The name of Carl Lofts might be derived from 
Karl Loptr as a Norse proper name, but as we find the 
circle near Keswick also called the Carls, the term 
seems to be applied in a more general sense. Old 
Norse karl appears to denote a man rather in the sense 
of manly qualities, as shown in its compounds karlmadr^ 
karlTnennij vir fortis, karlmenska, bravery. Lopt or 
loft signifies anything raised or lifted up. Hence 
Carl Lofts might be equivalent to "the warrior's 
monument." Or, if we could suppose the name to be 
properly " Car Lofts," (the only objection to which is 
the name of "the Carls," near Keswick,) it might be 
derived from kcera^ strife, litigation, and might signify 
the tribunal of public justice. A similar origin has 
been previously suggested for the name of Caer Mote, 
near Cockermouth. This derivation, moreover, acquires 
some probability from the name of an eminence near 
the north end, called Skellaw Hill, in wllich we may 
perhaps have a reference to the " law scales" or booths 
erected for the convenience of those attending the pro- 
ceedings held here. Upon the whole, though the 
meaning of the name is involved in some obscurity, it 
appears to be evidently Scandinavian, and the monu- 
ment itself may, with some probability, be referred to 
the Danes or Northmen. 


Another circle in the same neighbourhood, through 
the midst of which the exigencies of engineering have 
carried the Lancaster and Carlisle Railway, is without 
a name, but the place where it is situated is called 
Gunnerskeld Bottom, from ketd^ a fountain, and the 
proper name of Gunnar. 

A third, near Cumwhitton, is called "the grey 
yawds," from the colour of its stones. This is evi- 
dently a name of no great antiquity, but the common 
upon which the circle stands is called " King Harry 
Common." I think there is not much doubt that this 
name is derived from the monument, and is from the 
Old Norse harri or hari, a king, warrior, hero, mth 
which last word it is probably cognate. Without pre- 
suming the circle to be of Scandinavian origin, which 
is somewhat doubtful, the name, along with others, 
may perhaps be taken as an indication that the North- 
men looked upon such structures as the memorial 
monuments of warriors. 

Before quitting this part of the subject it may not 
be amiss to compare some of the names found in the 
Scandinavian part of Pembrokeshire. Here we have 
Butter Hill, Honey Hill, Silver Hill, Brother Hill, 
Thurston, Thornston, Hubberston, Lambston, Back- 
stone, Haroldstone, and Amblestone, from the names 
Buthar, Hogni, Solvar, Brodor, Thor, Thorny, Hubba, 
Lambi, BaW5:i, Harald, and Hamill, all of which are 
found in our district. 

There are not many instances on record in which 
arms have been found in the graves of Cumberland and 
Westmoreland. In one upon Sandford Moor, in the 
latter county, which was opened in 1766 by desire of 
the President of the Society of Antiquaries, were found 


— ^besides a small urn containing ashes, and inclosed, 
as in the former cases, in a larger one — a two-edged 
sword, rather more than two feet in length, with a 
curiously carved hilt, the head of a halberd, and some 
other things not described. About three feet below 
these, under a large pile of stones, was a square 
chamber containing a large quantity of burnt bones. 
This barrow was the largest of four lying close together ; 
beside them was a " kirock" or circle of stones, and in 
the immediate vicinity was a square entrenchment. 
These might probably be the graves of a chief and of 
his followers, buried on the field of battle where they 
fell. There is a probability, but no conclusive proof, 
that they were Scandinavian graves. 

The most important, and in all respects the most in- 
teresting baiTOW that has been opened in this district, 
is one at a place called Beacon Hill, near Aspatria, 
which was explored in 1790 by its proprietor, Mr. 
Rigg. From its name and its commanding situation 
has arisen the very natural belief that this hill must 
have been the site of a beacon. But there is no other 
evidence of this fact, and as Bekan is a Scandinavian 
proper name found also in other instances in the dis- 
trict, and as this was evidently a Scandinavian grave, 
while the commanding nature of the situation would be 
a point equally desired in one case as in the other, there 
can hardly be a doubt that the place takes its name 
from the mighty chief whose grave it was. On level- 
ling the artificial mound, which was about 90 feet in 
circumference at the base, the workmen removed six 
feet of earth before they came to the natural soil, three 
feet below which they found a vault, formed with two 
large round stones at each side, and one at each end. 


In this lay the skeleton of a man measuring seven feet 
from the head to the ankle-bone. — the feet having 
decayed away. By his side lay a straight two-edged 
sword corresponding with the gigantic proportions of its 
owner, being about five feet in length, and having a 
guard elegantly ornamented with inlaid silver flowers. 
The tomb also contained a dagger, the hilt of which 
appeared to have been studded with silver, a two-edged 
Danish battle-axe, part of a gold brooch of semi-circular 
form, an ornament apparently of a belt, part of a spur, 
and a bit shaped like a modem snaffle. Fragments of 
a shield were also picked up, but in a state too much 
decayed to admit of its shape being made out. Upon 
the stones composing the sides of the vault were carved 
some curious figures, which were probably magical 
runes. This gigantic Northman, who must have stood 
about eight feet high, was evidently, from his accoutre- 
f ments, a person of considerable importance. We must 
: not argue too closely, from the remains of an age in 
i which bodily strength formed the principal qualification 
^of a chief, as to the general standard of the race, but 
there can be no doubt, from the remains that have 
been discovered, that the ancient Northmen were a 
people of remarkable size and strength.* ^^?y ^^^ "tjT^.f 

* See an interesting article in Frasers Magazine for July, 1853, 
giving an account of a vast collection of human bones, most of tbem of 
gigantic size, found in a vault beneath Kothwell Church, Northampton- 
shire, and which the writer, with considerable plausibiUty, argues to be 
the remains of Northmen, slain in battle with the Anglo-Saxons. 




The bauta-stone was, as has been before mentioned, a 
plain upright slab, without ornament or inscription. 
But as art and civilization extended, and particularly 
after the introduction of Christianity, these memorial 
stones began to assume a different character. They 
were covered with figures and ornamental devices — 
sometimes surmounted by a cross — and not unfre- 
quently contained an inscription appropriate to the 
purpose for which they were erected — the most com- 
mon form being that which recorded simply the name 
of the person to whose memory, and that of the person 
by whose orders they were set up. One of the most 
important of those in the North of England is that at 
Ruthwell, on the opposite or Scotch side of the Sol way. 
It was long considered by antiquarians, both English 
and Northern, to be Scandinavian, an opinion which 
can no longer be sustained since it has been discovered 
to contain a fragment of an Anglo-Saxon poem. There 
is another at Bewcastle, in Cumberland, which is 
covered with ornaments, figures, and Runic inscrip- 
tions. This also is probably Anglo-Saxon ; part of the 
inscription is unfortunately obliterated, but as I un- 
derstand that Mr. Kemble is at present engaged upon 
it, we may expect a reliable version of as much or as 
little as can be deciphered. Cumberland contains 


several others which have simply scroUs, figures, and 
ornaments interlaced similar to the monuments of 
Norwegian origin in the Isle of Man. But the resem- 
blance between the Scotch and Scandinavian monu- 
ments is such as to prevent us, in the absence of any 
inscription, from forming any decisive opinion as to their 
origin. There are but two distinctly legible Runic in- 
scriptions that have been found in Cumberland, and 
unfortunately, owing to the peculiar combinations of 
the runes, and the occurrence of unusual or unique 
letters, one of them has not as yet been fully de- 
ciphered, though the main purpose of the inscription 
has probably been at least surmised. This is that 
upon the well-known font at Bridekirk, which was 
rendered by Bishop Nicholson, who supposed it to 
refer to the conversion of a Danish chief, and the 
consequent reception of Christianity by the Northmen 
settled in this district, Er Eka/rd han Tnen egrocten, 
and to dis men red wer Taner men hrogten. " Here 
Ekard was converted, and to this man's example were 
the Danes brought." " That this is complete nonsense," 
observes Professor Munch, " every one acquainted with 
Bunes and Teutonic languages perceives at the first 
glance." Mr. Kemble, in the Archseologia, vol. 28, 
supplies the following reading : — " Herigar thegn 
gewrohte Utsel thegn Irmunricys gebrohte." " Herigar 
the Thane wrought it, TJtel Eormanrics Thane brought 
it." This interpretation," he adds, " I fairly confess 
is anything but satisfactory to myself All that it can 
claim for itself is that it is Anglo-Saxon, which no 
other explanation hitherto published is." As Mr. 
Kemble has proceeded on the supposition that the 
inscription has not been correctly copied, and that the 


points ': are not the marks of intervals between words, 
but the remnants of effaced letters — an opinion which 
an inspection of the font itself would effectually dispel 
— the reading of the inscription must still remain an 
unsettled point. All that Professor Munch has been able 
to make out of it, and even that subject to some doubts, 
is, " . . . . me iwrogte, and to this .... me brogte," 
thus making the font to record the name of the person 
who wi-ought, and of the person who presented it to 
the church — ^the name of the person in both cases being 
undecipherable. The practice of making bells, books, 
&c., thus tell their own story was anciently a very com- 
mon one. Professor Munch further adds, "There 
is certainly a mixture of Anglo-Saxon and Scandi- 
navian runes, but here at least the Anglo-Sa^on is pre- 
valent, and what I can make out of it is also rather 
late Anglo-Saxon in Northumbrian dialect." 

The other inscription — in some respects a very in- 
teresting one — was discovered during the restoration 
of Carlisle cathedral, and is scratched with a tool upon 
a stone in the wall of the south transept. It is about 
three feet above the floor, and had previously been 
covered over with plaster and whitewash. Around it 
are several marks made by the tools of the working 
masons. I am indebted for a copy of the inscription 
to Mr. Purday, the architect in charge of the works, 
by whose quick eye it was discovered. 

The south transept is a portion of the oldest or 
Norman part of the cathedral which is attributed to 
William Rufus. During the progress of the restora- 
tion various other remains of a still more ancient date, 
as well as this inscription, were discovered among the 
foundations of the Norman building. Among these 


were some crosse^s, supposed by Mr. Purday to be 
Anglo-Saxon, but which, taken in connection with this 
inscription, which is unquestionably Scandinavian, 
may, I think, more probably owe their origin to the 
Northmen. It would appear probable, then, that the 
work which Rufus undertook had already been com- 
menced by other builders. Who those builders were, 
the stone in question may perhaps assist to deter- 

Dr. Charlton, of Newcastle-upon-Tyne, in a paper 
read before the Society of Antiquaries at that place, 
has supplied the following reading, " Tolf(o)hn (ab) 
PAITA THEKSi RuNR A THisi STAIN," (the letters between 
parentheses being doubtful.) Not being acquainted 
with any proper name answering to the first word, or 
to any part of it, he has suggested that some waggish 
workman may have inscribed, in allusion to the masons 
marks around the stone, " Tolf (twelve) ohnar, (idlers) 
cut these marks on these stones." And though, he 
remarks, in that case the last word ought to be stainer, 
plural, and not stain, such violations of grammar are 
not uncommon in runes. 

The E-ev. J. Maughan, of Bewcastle, in a letter ad- 
dressed to the Carlisle Patriot, has proposed the follow- 
ing reading, which in my opinion correctly renders 
the first word of the inscription, the name of the per- 
son who erected the stone, though the remainder of 
this version must be considered speculative. " Tolfin 
SUNA sALU SARK THIS STAIN." " Tolfin in sorrow 
(raised) this stone for the soul of his son." 

Taking Dr. Charlton's reading as it stands, and 
without making any alteration, (excepting one letter, 
which he himself considers doubtful) I would propose 


a different combination of the two first words, as giving 
a better sense to the inscription, and one in which I 
think he himself would be disposed to concur. Instead 
of " Tolf ohnar," I would read " Tolfihn Ar" as a 
proper name. And for the following reasons. First — 
such inscriptions ordinarily contain the name of the 
person who erected the stone, and Dr. Charlton has 
only proposed a different version in default of finding 
such a name, which may be accounted for by the some- 
what corrupted form in which it appears. Secondly — 
I doubt much whether that old, earnest Northern 
character was capable of so much waggery as is here 
presumed ; and particularly, whether, in an age of 
deep, and to some extent, superstitious religious feel- 
ing, the wall of a Christian church would, if it existed, 
be selected for its display. Thirdly — ^the alteration 
which I suggest dispenses with the necessity of pre- 
suming a violation of gi-ammar. Though such viola- 
tion might not be unusual in runes, yet I think — ^with 
deference to Dr. Charlton's better knowledge of the 
subject — ^that the substitution of a singular for a plural 
is one which enters too much into the sense of an in- 
scription to be likely to occur. Lastly — Professor 
Munch, of Christiania, one of the most experienced 
and cautious judges of runes, to whom I submitted the 
inscription, agreed in Mr. Maughan's reading of the 
first word. But not being able to make any sense of 
the intermediate part, he returned it with the remark 
that it appeared to be incorrectly copied. This I found 
to be the case, and I have not had time to receive his 
report upon the inscription as amended. 

The proper name Tolfin, or Dolfin, (for the runes d 
and t are the same,) is properly Dolgfinnr, compounded, 


siays Professor Munch, of dolgr, a foe, and the proper 
name of Finnr. It was a name by no means uncommon 
among the Northmen settled in this dLstrict. We 
find it in the names of places, as Dolfin sty, Dowfin 
seat, in the lake district, and Dovenby, formerly Dol- 
finby. And it is a name of frequent occurrence in our 
early county history. Ar signifies a minister or servant 
and it may occur here literally in that sense. Or it 
might already have become a surname, being a frequent 
one among the Northmen, but I think that the former 
supposition is, under the circumstances, the more pro- 
bable. The inscription would then run — " Dolfin the 
Minister inscribed these runes upon this stone." 

The question then arises — ^who was this Dolfinn, 
whose name thus appears to be connected with the 
building of a Christian church % We read in the Anglo- 
Saxon chronicle that in the year 1092, William Rufus 
" went northward to Carlisle with a large army, and 
that he repaired the city and rebuilt the castle. And 
he drove out Dolfinn, who had before governed that 
country ; and having placed a garrison in the castle, he 
returned into the south, and sent a great number of 
rustic Englishmen thither, with their wives and cattle, 
that they might settle there, and cultivate the land." 
As to who this Dolfin was who is here referred to, 
Ritson remarks,"* "There were several Dolfins, one the 
son of Cospatric, and brother of Waltheof and Cospatric ; 
another, the son of Torfin, {Historia de Ucthreda) ; a 
third, the son of Alward (Monasticon Anglicanum) ; a 
fourth, the son of Uthred, to whom in 1130, the prior 

* Annals of the Caledonians, Picts, and Scots j and of Strathdyde, 
Cumberland, Galloway, and Murray. 


and monks of Durham granted Staindrop {Leland'a 
coll). The former seems to be the one here meant." 
This, however, is rather uncertain, as the Dolfin in 
question appears to have settled in a different part of 
the county, viz., in Allerdale Ward, where he received 
a grant of half of Dearham. Dolfin, the son of Alward, 
also settled in the same part of the county, where he 
founded Dovenby or Dolfinby, so called after his own 
name. Whoever this Dolfin was, however, who 
governed this part of the country at the time of Rufus' 
expedition, there appears to be some probability in Mr. 
Maughan's suggestion that he had already commenced 
the restoration of Carlisle Cathedral at the period of 
his expulsion by William the 2nd, and that in the 
runic inscription in question is to be found a record of 
this event. A weak point, however, in this theory is 
that the inscription does not appear to have been exe- 
cuted in the careful and permanent manner which an 
event of so much importance would naturally demand, 
and looks, in fact, more like the attempt of some 
workman on his own account, to connect his name 
with the sacred edifice at which he laboured — an act 
which a man, ignorant and devout, might hold to be 
not without its avail. In this case we might, with 
stronger grounds of probability, take the word " Ar" 
as signifying literally a servant. 

At any rate we have strong grounds for the supposi- y 
tion that at the time of Rufus' visit this part of the 
country was in the possession of the Danes or North- 
men, and that, now become Christianized and civilized, 
they had already set about the work of repairing the 
ravages caused by their heathen predecessors. 


\J (/ 


As I have supposed the more purely Norwegian settlers 
to have entered chiefly by the west side of the island, 
and to have in the first instance taken possession of 
the mountain country, we might naturally expect to 
find in the names of the mountains, valleys, &c., of the 
lake district, some of the strongest traces of their occu- 
pancy. And it will accordingly be my object to shew 
that most of the principal terms in use in our district 
have their counterpart among the mountains of 
Norway and Iceland. We find, indeed, as a general 
rule that, owing to what Miss Martineau has styled 
the "conservative character" of mountains, ancient 
British names linger there longer than elsewhere, and 
that this is the case to so small an extent in our dis- 
trict may be accounted for on the supposition which I 
have before introduced of a considerable, if not a com- 
plete deportation of the original inhabitants. Except 
Blencathra, the British name of Saddleback, Glara- 
mara, and the Pen, a mountain in the Duddon valley, 
I am not aware of any clearly distinguishable Celtic 
names. Blencathra is sometimes called Blencarthur, as 
if derived from the name of the British Prince Arthur. 
It has also been supposed, perhaps with more proba- 
bility, to be a corruption of blen-y-cathern, the peak 
of witches or demons. The term " man," applied to 


a large stone, or more generally to a pile of stones v^ ^ 
erected upon the highest part of a mountain, has 
been referred to the Celtic maen, a stone, which it 
is supposed may have been retained by the Anglo- 
Saxons or Northmen in their own sense of the word 
"man." But this I do not think very probable, as the 
proper Celtic term for such a pile would be a " cairn." 
And, moreover, the ordinary sense of the word " man" 
expresses a very natural idea, for every tourist must 
have observed the resemblance which these piles bear 
at a distance to a man standing on the top of the 
mountain. In some cases, as that of Coniston Old Man, 
the name seems to have been transferred to the moun- 
tain itself, in the same manner as the word " Raise,'* 
another term applied to a cairn or pile of stones, has 
become the name of several mountains. 

One of the most common terms among the names of v 
mountains is " crag," which it is difficult to derive 
otherwise than from the Celtic, though it is not easy 
to account for the manner in which this one term has 
been retained, and in such general use. The names in 
which it occurs do not appear to be Celtic, if we except 
Dow Crag, which in Black's glossary is derived from 
Welsh du black, gloomy. But as it is found in connec- 
tion with other Scandinavian terms as in Dow gill, Dow- 
thwaite, Dow Beck, I think that even this is doubtful 
In all other cases, as in Dove Crag, Raven Crag, Eagle 
Crag, Helm Crag, Thrang Crag, Crinkle Crag, (Old 
Eng. " crinkle," a wrinkle), the names are evidently 
Teutonic. Bull Crag, Wallow Crag, and Gate Crag 
seem to be from proper names, or the last from geiJt, 
a goat. Growdar Crag may be from Old Norse goda^, 
plur, ofgodif signifying primarily a god, and secondarily 
a pontiff chieftain or magistrate. 


Terms purely Anglo-Saxon are of equally rare oc- 
currence among the mountains. " Dun," a hill, appears 
to be found in the name of Dunmallet, a hill on the 
outskirts of the Lake district. The name is further 
referred to in a succeeding part of this same chapter. 
Cwrr^ a rock, occurs in the Great and the Little CaiTs, 
near Langdale. " Carr" and " scar" are probably dif- 
ferent forms of the same word — 8 as a prefix being 
frequently added or dropped. Den, a valley or glen, 
occurs in Mickleden, and comhy a hollow, probably in 

The principal term for a mountain, and also that 
most characteristic of the Scandinavian district, is Fdl, 
This retains the Old Norse form oi feU or Jiallj which 
in the present dialect of Norway has, in accordance 
with a prevailing tendency, been corrupted into Jjdd. 
The only case in which a similar change can be sup- 
posed to have taken place in our district is that of 
Fairfield, the next neighbour to Helvellyn, which has 
been derived from the Scandinavian faa/r, " sheep," 
Fairfield signifying " the sheep mountain," in allusion 
to the peculiar fertility of its pastures. This mountain 
says De Quincey, " has large, smooth, pastoral savan- 
nahs, to which the sheep resort when all its rocky or 
barren neighbours are leffc desolate." I do not know 
who is the author of this etymology, which has been 
quoted by several writers, but it appeal's to me to be 
open to considerable doubt — first, because we do not 
find any other instance of a similar change into JJdd 
OT field, or of any tendency towards it — and secondly, 
because the summit of this mountain is such a pecu- 
liarly green and level plain, that it might not inappro- 
priately be called a "fair field." 


There is, however, another mountain in the district 
which I think derives its name with more probability 
from the fertility of its sheep pastures. This is Souter 
Fell, which may be from Old Norse saudar, sheep, 
and would therefore be the same name as Saudfjeld in 
Norway, and SaudaFell in Iceland, those names being in 
the singular number, and ours in the plural. This 
etymology is confirmed by the character of the moun- 
ta,in, which is peculiarly favourable for sheep pastures 
The same word is found in some other names, as in 
Soutergate, the sheep road, Souden Hill, the sheep hill. 
The latter contains the Old Norse definite article hinn, 
(in composition inn,) of which the Danish form is en. 
This article, in the Scandinavian languages, is always 
added as a post-fix. Hence saudr, a sheep, becomes 
savdinn, or according to the Danish form, sauden, the 
sheep. And Souden Hill is therefore the sheep hill. 

Several others of our " fells" have the same names 
as those of Norway, of which I give examples : — 


Blea Fell 

Blee Fjeld. 
Blaa Fjeld. 
Dun Fell Dun Fjeld. 

Hest Fell. Hesten Fjeld 

Mell Fell Mel Fjeld. 

Oxen Fell. Oxen Fjeld. 

Sale FeR Salen FjelcL 

Stake Fell. Staka Fjeld. 

Roman FelL E-omun Fjeld. 

This comparison serves to explain the meaning of 
some names which have been hitherto misundei-stood. 
Thus, Dun Fell has been derived from Ang.-Sax. dun^y^i^ 
" a hill," and Mell Fell from Gael mod, a hill. These 



!,jt^ " 82 

;/ I Herivations are objectionable in themselves, as combin- 
V| ing words of different languages ; but, when we find 
J \ precisely the same names in Norsvay, it becomes toler- . 
t ably -ftj^arent that they cannot be correct. Dun Fell ^ 
may be derived from Old Norse dun, down orplumage)\ . 
in reference to the feathers left by the birds frequenting)^ 
the mountain. Or it might be from duna, thunder, but 
I am not aware that storms are peculiarly apt to gather 
upon this mountain. Upon the whole, it is perhaps most i 
probably from " Dun," as a proper name. "We have, 
however, one name — and I do not know of any other — 
which seems to contain the Ang.-Sax. dun, a hill, 
though in a Scandinavian garb. This is Dunmallet, 
a low, conical hill, at the foot of Ullswater, which is to 
all appearance from dun-mcU, parley-hill, with the 
Danish neuter definite article et appended. — Dun- 
mallei, signifying the parley-hill. Mell Fell may be 
from Old Norse mdla, an evil spirit supposed by the 
Northmen to inhabit the mountains ; or it may be from 
mel, a boundary ; or from mceliy a place of meeting, 
and this mountain, which is of a conical form, easy of 
access, and standing alone, may have been used as a 
place of popular assembly. This seems the most pro- 
bable origin of the name of Mseli Fell, in Iceland. 
Souter Fell I have already alluded to. Of other 
mountains containing names of animals we have Oxen 
Fell and Hest Fell, Old Norse hestr, a horse. Sale 
Fell may be from Old Norse scell, happy, a term not 
unfrequently made use of in the names of places, but 
more probably, both in this and in other instances, as 
in Black Sail Pass, from Suio-Goth sal, Old Norse sd, 
a shepherd's hut, or place of shelter among the moun- 
tains. Roman Fell might be supposed to derive its 


name from some Roman entrenchment, or other work 
either upon it or in its neighbourhood ; but there is 
neither any vestige nor any record of such a work, and 
the historians of the county have supposed it to be a 
corruption of Rutman Fell, which is not veiy probable. 
In Norway we find Romun Fjeld, Romun Gaard, <fec., 
which, as I am informed by Professor Munch, is a 
corruption of the proper name of Romundr or 
Hromundr, a name of frequent occurrence in the Ice- 
landic sagas ; and it seems most probable that our 
Roman Fell is derived from the same origin. So 
Romanby in Yorkshire is called in the Domesday book 

There is a Blaze Fell near Hesket, in Cumberland, 
and also another in Westmoreland, probably so called 
from St. Blaze, upon whose festival it used to be the 
custom, probably in allusion to his name, to light fires 
upon the mountains. 

Berg, Barrow, Barf- — Old Norse Berg, hiarg, Anglo- 
Sax, heorh, heorg. This term, as before mentioned, 
occurs very frequently in the form of " barrow," but 
very rarely in the form of " berg." We have Brown- 
berg Hill in Westmoreland ; the addition of the word ' . / 
" hill" showing the term to be no longer understood. 
Legberthwaite, by the side of Thirlemere, contains the 
Old Norse logberg, a law-mount. In Waberthwaite, 
formerly Wibergthwaite, we have the Old Norse viberg, 
" holy mountain," but it is probably derived immedi- 
ately from Wiberg as a proper name — that of an old 
Cumberland family. 

The word at present in use in the north of England 
is " bargh," which is also found in some of the names 
of places in Yorkshire ; these, in the Domesday book, 


generally appear as " berg." Kennett, MSS. Lamh. 
renders " barge ' a hoi*seway up a steep hill. This is 
also the meaning given by Ray to " bargh" as a 
Yorkshire word, but it signifies properly not the road 
up the hill, but the hill itself. Hence probably the 
origin of " Barge-day," the name given to Ascension- 
day in Newcastle — from the hill which our Lord 
ascended with his disciples — or from the general sense 
of ascending. Mr. Carr, in the Craven Glossary, gives 
the three forms of "berg," "barg," and "barf," of which 
last we have two or three instances in our district, as, 
for instance, in the mountain called Barf, near Bas- 

Knot, Old Norse knottr, Anglo-Sax. cnott, Norwegian 
hnut. This word is of frequent occurrence, both in our 
lake district and in Norway. Its original signification, 
like that of the next word, seems to be derived from 
the round of the knuckles, to which the form of many 
mountains bears a close resemblance. Hardknot, in 
Westmoreland, corresponds with the mountain Harte- 
nuten, " the hard knot," in Norway. In Westmoreland 
we have also Scald Knot, which, if we could suppose the 
Scandinavian bards to have been like-minded with those 
of our lake district, may have been the residence of a 
Scald or poet of the Northmen. In the same county 
is also School Knot, probably derived from Skiile, a 
Scandinavian proper name. 

Knock, Old Norse hnukr, is a word of much the same 
signification as the foregoing. We have Knock, Kjiock 
Pike, <fec. 

Knob, Old Norse Icnappr, Ang.-Sax. cncepp, Norwe- 
gian knah, signifies a rocky projection. We have Knab, 
the Knab, Knab Scar, <fec., corresponding to Knaben 


{the knab) and Napen Fjeld, in Norway. It also ap- 
pears in the form ofneh, as in Skelly Neb, on Ullswater, 
Skagsneb, in Norway ; and in one case in the form of 
'* Snab," in the mountain of that name — Old Norse 
sndpTy Dan. snabd, a point or beak. 

Knipe, Old Norse hnipr, Suio-Goth Knip, signifies a 
sharp or narrow ridge. We have Knipe Scar, in Cum- 
berland, Knipen Borg, in Norway. Our words "nip" 
and " knife " seem to be allied to this. 

Scar J Old^Norse sker, Norwegian skar, is a general 
term throughout the North of England for a steep or 
precipitous rock, and is derived from Old Norse skera, 
to cut. The derivatives from the Ang.-Sax. seer an take 
the softened form of shear, shire, share, sheer — the last 
applied to a precipice much in the same sense as " scar." 
Thus we say, " the rock went sheer down," i.e. as if 
cut down. We have in our district Ulsker, from the 
proper name of Ulf, as in Iceland Einarsker and Svart- 
sker, from the names Einar and Svartr. 

Scarth, Old Norse shard, is a word of similar mean- 
ing to the above, derived from Old Norse skarda, to 
cut. The word " skard," signifying a piece cut ofi*any- 1 
thing, is still in use in some parts of the north of Eng-j 
land In Balder scarth. Gate scarth, and Ulscarth, in 
our district, we have the proper names Balder, Geit, 
and Ulf, as in Evarskard and Hakaskard, in Iceland, 
the names Evar and Haki. 

Scarf, Old Norse skarfr, Suio-Goth skcerf, from the 
verb skarfwa, to cut, appears to have much of the same 
meaning as "scar" and "scarth." The pass from 
Buttermere to Ennerdale is called the Scarfgap? which 
is Scandinavian in both words, signifying an opening 
cut among the rocks. In Norway] we have Skarven 
Fjeld (the Scarf Fell), Maastjern Skai-v, (fee. 


Scor^ Old Norse sMr, a fissure, a word also allied to 
" scar " and " scarth," occurs perhaps in the name of 
Scordale in Westmoreland, cori'esponding to Skordal 
in Norway, and Scordal in Iceland. But it is more 
probable that all three are derived from Skorri, a 
Scandinavian proper name. "Scor" is probably the 
word from which Scawfell derives its name. 

Scree. Every visitor to Wastwater must have been 
struck with a remarkable range of rocks called " the 
Screes," bordering one side of the lake, and which 
appear to be undergoing a gradual process of decom- 
position. The description of them in Ford's Guide to 
the Lakes is as follows : — " On the opposite side are 
the Screes, which seem going to decay, their founda- 
tions in the water, and their surface and soil being 
gone, while immense debris and torrents of rocks and 
stones cover their sides." There are also rocks of a 
similar character on the Kirkstone pass, and several 
others bearing the same name in the district. Now it 
is evident that we have here a term descriptive of a 
marked and distinctive feature, nor does an explanation 
such as that of " scars, precipices," given in the 
glossary attached to " The Cumberland and West- 
moreland Dialects," lately published, throw any light 
upon the meaning of the word. All screes are not 
scars, and the distinction is clearly made in one of 
those upon the borders of Yorkshire, a particular part 
of which is called " Scree Scar." The word " scree" 
occurs in the provincial dialect of the North as a 
contraction of screen, which is a machine for cleansing 
malt, wheat, &c. ; also for separating coarse gravel 
from fine. This at first I conceived might be the 
origin of the present word — the rocks in question be- 


iug so called from the streams of stones running down 
their sides like gravel from a screen. A very brief 
consideration, however, convinced me that the idea 
was altogether too modern, and the North-country 
word " screed" then occurred to me, signifying a piece 
torn or rent off anything, as a " scard" signifies a piece 
cut from anything. " Screed" is derived from the Old 
Norse skrida, of which the original meaning is "a 
fall, as of stones, or of snow, from a mountain." Here 
then we have a complete and significant explanation of 
the term, and when we find the word in the form of 
sJcred, skrede, skredaa, common in the same sense in 
Norway, we can no longer have any doubt as to its 
origin. It occurs in that country also in various com- 
pounds, as Refskrid, from Old Norse ri^a, Northern- 
Eng. rive, " to tear" — and Skridshol, referring to the 
cavity left by the fall in the mountain. In Iceland 
we have Skardskrid, the same word as Scree Scar be- 
fore alluded to. 

Sty is a word the meaning of which has sometimes 
been rather curiously misunderstood. The author of 
the well-written description of the lake district in 
"The land we live in" says, quoting Nicholson and 
Bums' History of Cumberland, that the " Sty-head," 
which is the summit of the pass between Borrowdale 
and Wastdale head, takes its name from the swine 
which used to feed there in the summer and fall back 
in the autumn in Borrowdale. 

This will never do — old writers are not generally to 
be trusted for etymologies. Siy, Old Norse and Ang.- 
Sax. stifff Dan. sti, signifies primarily a rough path or 
track ; secondarily, a climbing or ascending path, and 
is from Old Norse stiga, Ang.-Sax. atigauj signifying 



primaiily *' to go" — secondarily to ascend, in both of 
which senses the word in question is used in the dis- 
trict. The " Sty-head" signifies then simply " the top 
of the path — the summit level." 
A I In many instances we find the word associated with 
the name of the person to whose dwelling the f)ath 

I conducted. Thus we have Bi-ansty, Manesty, Dolphin- 
sty, Bresty, and Torfing's Sty, from the proper names 
Bi-andr, Mani, Dolgfinnr, Bresi, and Thorfing. By the 
side of Ullswater is Swansty Thwaite, the path which 
led from the water's edge to the place which Swan had 
cleared for his dwelling in the forest. 

The name of the mountain Cachedecam, forming a 
part of the range of Helvellyn, might well puzzle the 
etymologist, nor would the name Casticand, given by 
Camden, give him any assistance. But let him enquire 
its name from the ^dweller at its foot, and he will tell 
him it is Catst'ycam. Its meaning is explained at 
once — " The summit of the track of the wild cat." 

In Norway this word appears in its original form, 
as in Styg Fjeld. Also in Iceland, as in Ketilstig, the 
name of the mountain path which led to the abode of 

StUe. From the preceding word stig, is formed stigd, 
softened in English into stile. It is used in the same 
two senses as the former word — ^thus we have the 

I mountains. Stile, High Stile, Long Stile, &c., while in 

( the sense of a road or path it is not yet obsolete in the 

i district. 

^ Allied to the above, if not another form of the same 
word, is steel, Suio-Goth My steep. We have Steel 
Fell, Steel Bank, &c. 

In Norway this word, like the last, appears in its 



original form. Thus we have a mountain called Styggel, 
corresponding to ours called Stile. 

Stack, Old Norse stacTcr, is a term used in the Nor- 
wegian district of Scotland to denote a columnar rock. 
The mountain in Westmoreland called Haystacks, 
though at first it may have a modern look, is probably 
an original Scandinavian name, Old Norse heystackr. 

Stake, Old Norse stiaki, Ang.-Sax. stdca. " Tlie 
Stake" is a mountain on the borders of Cumberland 
and Westmoreland, and the name Staka Fjeld occurs 
two or three times in Norway. 

Sticks, Old Norse stiki, Ang.-Sax. sticca. " Sticks," 
sometimes, but less correctly spelt Styx, is another 
mountain on the Cumberland and Westmoreland border. 

Stickle, Old Norse stikill, Ang.-Sax. sticd, signifies 
a sharp point or peak. The two Langdale pikes are 
called respectively Harrison Stickle, and Pike o' Stickle 

These last three terms are all allied to each other, t^ 
and have somewhat of the same meaning. ■ ^ 

Pike, Dan. pige, a point, from Old Norse piaka, to 
pierce, is the most common term for a peaked or pointed 
hill. Dolly Waggon Pike is probably from the Scan- 
dinavian proper name Doli Wagen — the surname Doli 
signifying a servant. 

Ca/ni, Dan. kdm, signifies a crest or summit. We 
have CatstycaDij Cam Fell, and Black Comb, an isolated /^tmtwSC 
mountain near Bootle. 

Bigg, Old Norse hryggr, Ang.-Sax. hricg, Dan. ryg, 
signifies an oblong hill, the original meaning being 
derived from the form of the back. We have Long- 
rigg, Latrigg, and others. It is also universally used 
in the district to signify a ridge. 

Hammer, Old Norse hammr, signifies a steep and 


broken rock. Examples — Hammer Scar, Grasmere ; 
Hammer Fjeld, Norway. In the latter country, as 
also in Iceland, it is of frequent occurrence, but in our 
district is only rarely found. 

Lad, Old Norse Mad, a pile or heap, occurs only in 
composition, as in Ladhouse, Lathell (hill ?), Lad Crag, 
Latrigg ; in the case of the last perhaps referring to 
the grave-mounds of which there were formerly several 
upon the sides of this mountain. 

Break, Old Norse brecka, signifies the slope or 
acclivity of a mountain, and like tbe last word, occurs 
only with us in composition. We have Melbreak and 
Calbreak in Cumberland j in Norway, Lovbrekke ; in 
Iceland, Sandbrekke and Skardsbrekke, Jamieson 
explains the Scotch word "break" as the hoUow in a 

Ha/ws, Old Norse and Anglo- Sax. hids, signifies a 
neck ; also, according to Haldorsen, an oblong moun- 
tain. It is most generally applied in our district to the 
depression between two mountains, and hence the name 
has been given to many of the passes, as Esk Haws, 
Buttermere Haws, &c. In Iceland it still appears in 
its original form, but in Norway seems to be sometimes 
changed into aas, which, as pronounced aws, is nearly 
the same word as ours ; we find Aas Fjeld and Aas 
Vand, the latter the same name as our Hawswater. It 
still appears, however, in some cases in its original 
form, as in Hals Fjord, which, like Aas Yand and 
Hawswater, takes its name from a promontory which 
contracts it, forming a sort of neck. 

Edge, Old Norse e^^, Ang.-Sax. ecg, signifies the sharp 
ridge of a mountain. Haldorsen says " sum mum 
jugum montis," but as regards our district the " edge" 


is not generally the highest part of the mountain, but 
is a connecting ridge between the summit and a lower 
elevation. In the above sense, as applied to a moun- 
tain, the word seems to be Scandinavian rather than 
Anglo-Saxon, and is of very frequent occurrence in 

Every tourist who has made the ascent of Helvellyn 
fi*om Patterdale is aware that, before coming to the 
highest point, he arrives at a deep circular basin, in 
which lie the waters of Red Tarn. Round this basin 
there are two paths to the summit — one narrow and 
difficult, (" appalling and perilous," with praiseworthy 
caution says Black's Guide,) called Striding Edge — the 
other easier but more circuitous, called Swirrel Edge. 
In Hodgson's large map of Westmoreland the former is 
described as " Strathon Edge," called locally " Striding 
Edge." But, excepting the local pronunciation, I do 
not see what authority there can be for such a name 
as this. Striding Edge might be from Old Norse stritay 
Suio-Goth streta, to toil, to strive. Ihre explains it 
difficylter progrediy and the example he quotes refers to 
struggling up an ascent. In this sense the noun strita 
a summit, seemed to be formed from it. The Anglo- 
Sax, has also strithj a footpath and strithan, to mount. 
But perhaps the most natural derivation is from Suio- 
Goth strida, Ang.-Sax. stridan, to stride — not, how- 
ever, I think in the sense in which the term is some- 
times applied to narrow places, as to a chasm called 
" the Stride," in Yorkshire, but rather in the sense of | y 
struggling, scrambling, or as the vulgar phrase is, 
" putting the best foot foremost," which there is every 
need to do in crossing Striding Edge. 

Swirrel Edge is no doubt from North. -Eng. " swirl," 


to revolve, to go round, which Jamieson derives from 
Old Norse svirra. " Swirl" and " whirl" are different 
forms of the same word — the Scandinavian languages 
being partial to the prefix of s, as in Dan. smelte, Eng. 
melt, Dan. slikkey Eng. lick, &c. Swirrel Edge then, I 
take to signify the circuitous edge, in contradistinction 
to Striding Edge, which is the direct path. 

Gap, Old Norse gap^ signifies an opening between, 
or among mountains. We have Scarf Grap, Raise Gap, 
Whinlatter Gap, &c. 

Calf was a term frequently given by the Northmen 
to a smaller object in its relation to a larger one ; it 
was often applied to an island, thus the small island 
close to Man is called, from an obvious comparison, 
" The Calf of Man." It was also applied, as Haldor- 
sen observes, to a smaller mountain adjoining a larger. 
Thus we have Calva, a summit in the range of Skid- 
daw, and Calf, one of the Middleton fells ; while in 
Norway we find Kalva Berg, and in Iceland Kalfa Fell. 
Latrigg, another mountain in the chain of Skiddaw, is 
sometimes called, in the same sense, " Skiddaw Cub." 
There is, however, one case which seems to be an ex- 
ception, viz., that of the Calf, a mountain on the 
borders of Westmoreland and Yorkshire, which rises 
to the height of 2,188 feet, and was a station in the 
Ordnance survey. In this case the name of the smaller 
mountain has probably been transferred to the larger 

Dodd signifies a mountain with a blunt summit, and 
generally attached to a larger mountain. It is a name 
of very frequent occurrence ; we have Dodd Fell, 
Skiddaw Dodd, Hartsop Dodd, Great Dodd, Glen- 
ridding Dodd, &c. The word "dodded," signifying 


without horns, is in use in the Craven dialect, and is 
supposed by Mr. Carr to be a corruption of "doe- 
headed." The derivation given in Black's Guide, from 
Old Norse toddiy a limb or member of anything, seems, 
however, preferable in this case. 

Yoke is explained in Black's glossary as a hill in a 
chain. This, however, seems rather too general a 
definition, as it would apply to almost all hills. The 
word from which I take it to be derived is Old Norse 
Ok, which is simply rendered by Haldorsen clivulus, 
convexitas. But as it is no doubt derived from oka, to 
join, to yoke, it may probably have something of the 
same meaning as the preceding word — that of a smaller 
hill joined or yoked to a larger one. 

Tongue, Old Norse tunga, Ang.-Sax. tunga, is a term 
applied to a mountain denoting its particular shape. 
We have Tongue, Middle Tongue, and Tong Fell, cor- 
responding to Tang Fjeld in Norway, and Tungu Fell 
in Iceland. 

Helm, Old Norse hialmr, Anglo-Sax. helTti, refers to 
the particular shape of the rock or mountain so called. 
We have Helm Crag near Grasmere, and the Helm 
near Kendal, corresponding to Hjaelm and Hjselmen 
(the Helm) in Norway. The helmet and the shield, 
names which several mountains in that country bear, 
were natural comparisons for a warlike people. 

House. There are two mountains in Cumberland 
called respectively Herdhouse and Ladhouse. This 
might be from Old Norse hoAis, head or summit ; but 
as we find Husafell (House Fell) in Norway, it is pro- 
bable that this may be used in the same sense. 

Gavel or Gable, Old Norse yafl, gabl, is a term ap- 
plied to a mountain in reference to its resemblance to 



the end of a house. We have Gravel Fell, and Great 
Gable or Gavel. 

HaUin is another term applied to a mountain in re- 
ference to its supposed resemblance to a particular part 
of a house. "We have Hallin Fell on XJllswater, while 
in Norway we find Hallin, Hallingskeid, &c. 

Some of the most common names for a hill or moun- 
tain, as Barrow and How, are referred to more particu- 
larly in treating of the faneral remains of the North- 
men. Also Raise, derived from the cairn or pile of 
stones erected over a grave, and which has, in several 
instances, become the name of the mountain itself So 
also Seat, a very common name given to a mountain, 
and derived from the dwelling situated upon its side. 

There are some names not comprehended under any 
of the above heads, and yet including some of the 
principal mountains of the district. Such is Skiddaw, 
which has been derived by Dr. Stukely from the Kel- 
tic yscyd, in reference to some real or supposed resem- 
blance which it bears in shape to a horse-shoe. I think 
we shall be able, however, to trace in the language of 
the Northmen a much more simple and significant 
origin for his name. The particular characteristic of 
this mountain is that by which he has been immor- 
talised by Wordsworth : — 

" Our British hill is nobler far ; he shrouds 
His double front amid Atlantic clouds, 
And pours forth streams more sweet than Castaly." 

His characteristic feature, then, is his " double front," 
and from this it seems to me probable that he has 
derived his name. Old Norse skidr signifying a sepa- 
ration or division, and the name being equivalent to 
" the divided" or " the two-fold" mountain. It might, 


indeed, like Skidadal, in Iceland, be derived from Skidi, 
a proper name, and a, a possession, Skida signifying 
the territory or possession of Skidi, but the former 
derivation possesses the more significance. / 

There i^ a class of names common in the district, and ^ 
which are interesting, as probably referring, indirectly, 
if not directly, to that great Assyrian Deity, Baal, 
Bel, or Veli, whose worship, in various forms, extended 
over almost the whole of the East. We have Hill 
Bell, Bells, and Green Bells, in Westmoreland ; Bell- 
hill, near Drigg, and Cat Bells, bordering the side of 
Derwentwater, in Cumberland. Mr. Carr also men- 
tions, in his Glossary of the Craven Dialect, similar 
hills upon the Yorkshire Moors, where fires have once 
been lighted, as he supposes, in honour of this deity, 
and which are still called Baal Hills. 

It may be a question, however, whether these names 
are derived so directly from this source. It was, in- 
deed, no doubt the case, as Sir E. B. Lytton observes, 
in his romance of " Harold," that the worship of this 
deity, though celebrated more especially by the Celtic 
races, was known also to the Anglo-Saxons and the 
Northmen. It may, indeed, have been adopted by 
them from the Celts, but it is more probable that 
both races brought it with them from their ancient 
Eastern home. For we can scarcely suppose that the 
worship of Baal, or the Sun, would be unfamiliar to 
any nation proceeding from the East, though it might 
naturally assume the mere secondary place which it 
occupied in the Teutonic mythology during their long 
wanderings in the gloomy forests of Germany. A r 
trace of this worship even yet, as I shall have occasion 
to remai'k, lingers among the mountains of our lake 



district. But in this case there is somewhat more 
reason to suppose that it is a relic of that practised 
by the ancient Britons or older inhabitants. 
^ The word from which the names in question are, 
however, more immediately derived is probably the 
Old Norse hali^ a hill, and this again is probably 
derived from, or connected with, Old Norse and Ang.- 
Sax. hal^ a sacrificial fire, in reference to the fires which 
used to be lighted upon these hills. None of the 
names in question shew evidence of a Celtic origin, 
utiless it be CatbeUs, which might indeed be derived 
from the Celtic cad or cat, a grove — Catbells signifying 
" the groves of Baal" — but which is more probably so 
called, in common with other names in the district, as 
Catstycam, from the wild cats with which it was 
infested — CatbeUs signifying simply "the cat hills." 

The name of Helvellyn, the second mountain in 
England, may perhaps be derived from a similar origin. 
"We find in Norway the names of Belling Fjeld and 
Bellingen Fjeld, and the substitution of " hill," (a word 
both Anglo-Saxon and Scandinavian) for " fell," would 
bring us at once very near the name, the letters h and 
V being convertible. Or if we take the name of Hill 
Bell, by adding the definite article we should get Hill- 
bellin, which by a natural euphonic change would make 
i Helvellyn. While in the language of the Celts, we 
have dy a height, according to Bullet — El-Velin sig- 
nifying "the hill of Baal or Veil" Without then 
pronouncing upon the exact etymology of the name, 
there seems a probability that it refers, directly or re- 
motely, to the wide-prevailing worsliip of this deity. 

It was unquestionably among the Celtic inhabitants 
of our island that this worship was celebrated with the 


greatest importance and solemnity. Whether it was 
preserved among them simply by the force of their old 
traditions, or whether its revival in greater pomp was 
a result of the Phoenician intercourse, we cannot now 
determine. But it is curious to find in the names, 
both of the great Carthaginian leader, and of the valiant 
British chief who each so bravely withstood the Roman 
arms, the name of this god assumed as a title of 
honourable distinction. We have it in the Punic 
names Hannibal and Asdrubal, and the Ancient 
British Cassibelin and Cunobelin. We have it in 
Baalam, in the Assyrian Belshazzar, and in Jezebel, 
the great protector of idolatry in Israel, who so faith- 
fully fulfilled the promise of her name. Far away 
among tile hills of the Antilibanus lie the glorious 
ruins of Baalbec, the temple of the sun, and here, too, 
his altars were erected, and perhaps his name bestowed, 
on many a beautiful English hill. 

The worship of this deity was usually celebrated on 
the tops of mountains, whence the first beams of the 
rising sun could be perceived. It was attended with 
similar ceremonies in the various countries in which 
it was practised. Thus we are told that the Jews, who 
were unable to resist the contagion of this prevailing 
idolatry, sacrificed their sons and their daughters unto 
devils ; and in Britain, too, human sacrifices formed a 
part of the worship that was paid him. They made 
their children " pass through the fire unto Baal ;" and 
so, too, the Britons were accustomed once a year to 
drive their flocks and their herds through the fire, to 
preserve them from evil during the remainder of the 
year. The one had their druids — the other their 
*' prophets of the groves." And in Britain, as in 






Assyria, the name of the god used to be assumed as 
the title of highest honour. 

But it is not only in the names of places that we 
^ have a trace of the ancient worship of Baal ; the stone 

circles are still remaining in many places where the 
bloody sacrifices to his honour were performed. One of 
the most important of these is near Keswick, and in 
the immediate vicinity, says a writer on the subject, 
*' is a gloomy valley, Glenderaterra, the name of which 
is sufficiently indicative of the purpose for which, like 
Tophet of old, it was ordained " — Glyn-dera taran 
signifying in Celtic, " the valley of the angel, or 
demon of execution." Near Cumwhitton, in the same 
county, is a similar druidical circle, and it is a curious 
fact, that, till within the last few^ years, a trace of the 
ancient woi-sliip still lingered around these two temples 
where it was once performed. Both at Keswick and 
at Cumwhitton the festival of the Beltein, or the fire 
of Baal, was till lately celebrated on the first of May. 
Indeed, in some of the mountain valleys, it is still the 
custom, as Miss Martineau informs us in her guide to 
the lakes, when any of the cows are seized with dis- 
temper, to light the need fire and drive the cattle 
through the flame. And she relates a story of one 
considerate farmer, who, holding his wife to be as 
valuable as his ox or his ass, after all the rest of his 
stock had undergone the ceremony, made her bring up 
the rear, passing through the fire unto Baal. It is 
interesting to see how men cling to the performance of 
ancient religious rites, when the significance of the 
/ n ceremony has been long forgotten. And what a hold 
i / . must that worship ^ have had over the minds of men, 
which Thor and Odin have not supplanted, nor the 
Christianity of a thousand years. 


Among the names of mountains we meet with a few v 
traces of those superstitions of which the Northmen, in 
common with all the other tribes of Teutonic origin, 
had an unfailing fund. They peopled the mountains, 
the forests, and the rivers with a race of supernatural 
beings, some of them friendly, and others obnoxious to 
mankind. Of all these the most formidable were the 
giants who dwelt upon the mountain tops, for whom 
they had a variety of names, and who are still the sub- 
ject of many a fearful tale in the Scandinavian North. 
The name of Rissen Scar in Westmoreland may pro- 
bably be derived from Old Norse risi, one of the names 
given to those dreaded beings — risen^ with the defi- 
nite article appended, the giant's scar. Mell Fell, as 
before mentioned, may perhaps be from mella, another 
of these names. But a more certain etymology is that 
of Scratch Meal Scar — Old Norse shratti, a giant or 
demon, whence our name Old Scratch, for the devil, 
and mella^ a similar being but of the feminine gender 
— these two dwelling together, we may suppose, in 
unhaUowed partnership upon this dark and rugged 

Passing on to the other terms descriptive of the 
natural features of the country, one of the most im- 
portant is Dale, Old Norse dalr, a valley, from the 
verb dcda, to depress. We have Codale, the cow valley, 
Grisdale, the swine valley, and Gasdale, the goose 
valley. Also Mardale, Bamsdale, Baldersdale, Uldale, 
Hawksdale, and Silverdale, from the proper names 
Mar, Bama, Balder, Ulf, Haukr, and Solvar. 

This word does not appear to have any connection Y 
with Old Norse deUa^ Ang.-Sax. dcelan^ to divide, in 
reference to the divisions formed by the valleys among 


the mountains. But the term "dale," a division or 
portion of land not fenced off from the rest of the field, 
though belonging to a different owner, appears to be 
from the above. The word "dalesman," applied to 
the inhabitants of the mountain country, has also been 
derived from the same origin, in reference to the ori- 
ginal division or distribution of the land. 

Slack y Old Norse slakvy Aug.- Sax. slcec, signifies a 
hollow or depression, but of a more insignificant 
character than a dale. It is a word still in general use 
throughout the district. 

Ing, Old Norse engi, Ang.-Sax, eng^ signifies a mea- 
dow. Mr. Carr explains it as a " marshy meadow," 
but I do not think that this sense is necessarily in- 
volved. Mr. Halliwell says "a meadow generally 
lying low near a river." 

ScoWf shaw, Old Norse skogr, signifies a wood. The 
word, as still in use, has been softened into shaw, but 
in many names of places it appears in the form of sco, 
or scoWy resembling the present Danish form of skov. 
We have Brisco, Wescow, Flascow, and Scowgarth. 

Withj Old Norse vidr, signifies a wood, and is no 
doubt cognate with the English word. 

Lund, Old Norse lundr, signifies a grove. "We have 
Hoff Lund and Hanging Lund in Westmoreland. The 
former has been previously referred to as having been 
in all probability the sacred grove attached to a hea- 
then temple. The earliest mention of it is in a grant 
of the time of Elizabeth, but the manor of Hoff, in 
which it is situated, is traced up to the time of Henry 

Holt, Old Norse and Ang.-Sax. holt, is another com- 
mon term for a wood, and is stiU in use. It is no 
doubt coornate with German hdlz. 


Hope^ Old Norse hop, is a recess or place of shelter. 
Hence Hartsop and Harrop may be presumed to derive 
their names respectively from the animals, the hart and 
the hare, to which they afforded a retreat. 




Among the names of lakes, rivers, and other terms 
connected with water, first in order, following the 
Northmen in their course towards our shores, comes 
the Solway Frith. 

The Solway, called in Leland's Itinera the Sulway, 
appears to contain the Old Norse vagr, a bay. That 
part of it which runs up into the land, forming the 
estuary of the Eden and Esk, is called the Solway 
Frith, from Norse Jwrdr, an arm of the sea. The 
prefix " Sul" might possibly be derived from svla^ a 
column, illustrating a common practice of the North- 
men in settling in a strange country. When steering 
towards the shore, and uncertain where to land, they 
had frequent recourse to a species of augury by throw- 
ing overboard the sacred columns of their temple, and 
on whatever part of the shore these might happen to 
be cast up, accepting the omen as a command to select 
that spot for their habitation. But this must have 
applied rather to an uninhabited country like Iceland, 
than to a shore where they might have to make good 
their footing by force of arms ; in this latter case they 
must, I apprehend, have been guided by less ambigu- 
ous principles. 

Another derivation might be suggested from Norse 
svlla, to mingle, in reference perhaps to the six rivers 


which join their waters in this phice. Or it may be 
rather to the sand brought down by these rivers, 
which renders the watei-s of the Solway generally 
somewhat turbid, for this seems to be rather the 
sense of N. sutla, which is probably cognate with Eng, 

I remember a servant from the opposite or North- 
umbrian coast, where the water is comparatively clear, 
being asked, while staying with a family at a w^atering- 
place on the Solway, if he bathed, to which he replied 
rather indignantly that " he wasn't going to bathe in 
their clarty sea." And to any one accustomed to the 
clear waters of the Isle of Man, the difference would 
be as striking as it was to this saucy Northumbrian. 

Silloth Bay, upon the Solway Frith, now the ter- 
minus of a railway, and destined perhaps to be a place 
of commercial importance, appears to derive its name 
from sil or sild, a herring or similar small fish, and 
lod, a bundle of fishing lines. 

The names of lakes are more uniformly Scandinavian 
than those of rivers, among which we find several 
which appear to be Celtic, and a few which are pro- 
bably Anglo-Saxon. 

The two principal terms for a lake of the larger size 
are "water" and " mere.'' The latter more resembles 
the Ang.-Sax. mere than the Noi'se mar, but the com- 
pounds in which it occurs, and which are mostly 
formed from proper names, appear to stamp it as of 
Scandinavian origin. Buttermere is no doubt from 
the proper name of Buthar, before referred to in some 
names of places. Windermere I take to be from the 
Danish name of Windar, found also in Winder Wath 
and Winder Gill — ^an old family name in the district. 

1 \ 


and still by no means uncommon. Rydal lake was 
formerly called Routhmere, and the Rotha, the river 
which forms it, the Routha, probably from the proper 
name of Raud, whence Routh, an old name in the dis- 
trict. Thirlmere might be from Ang.-Sax. thirlian. 
Old Eng. thirl, to drill or bore, in allusion to its long cvc 
and shaip form. But it would be more in accordance \ 
with the etymology of the district to derive it from a 
proper name, and as Thurlston in Yorkshire appears 
from the Domesday book to have been originally 
Thorolfston, so Thirlmere may be a corruption of 
Thorolfsmere. Grasmere was formerly called Gres- i' 
mere or Grismere, as is supposed from the " grise" or 
wild swine which used to frequent its shores. But as 
Gris was also a Scandinavian proper name, I think it 
is more probable that this lake, like most of the others, 
takes its name from some Northman who dwelt upon 
its shores. 

The other term for a larger lake is " water," which I 
think there is considerable ground for supposing to have 
been originally the Old Norse vatn, and to have been 
superseded by the Anglo-Saxon word of the same 
meaning, which has established itself in general use 
throughout the kingdom. In Denmark and Norway 
vatn has been corrupted into vairidj which is the most 
common term for a lake in the latter country j in 
Sweden it is still retained in its original form. In the 
Norwegian districts of Scotland it is sometimes cor- 
rupted into " vat," as in OUevat, " OUer's water," a 
lake in the Hebrides — sometimes, as with us, changed 
into " water," as in Helgawater, a lake in Shetland. 
Now, assuming the above suggestion to be well-founded 
it would be but reasonable to suppose that in all cases 


where the meaning of the word was undei-stood, vatn 

would be changed into " water," which has become the 

word in universal use. But we might stiQ expect to 

find some traces of it in compound words, wherein, from 

its meaning not being so apparent, it had escaped the rfc.^»v, ^'« 

ordinary change. And this we shall find to be the 

case. As in Norway, where in general use it has been 

corrupted into vand, we still find the original word 

preserved in some of the names of places, as in Vatn- 

dale, " the water vaUey ;" so in Cumberland we have 

it in Watendlath, or as it is pronounced locally, Waten- 

lath. This is a hamlet upon a small lake above Borro- 

dale, and is to all appearance derived from the Norse 

vatn-Mada, " the bam by the water" — lath or laith for 

a bam being a word stiU in use in the district. 

like the former word, this is most frequently con- 
nected with a proper name. In Ullswater, Gates 
Water, Skeggles Water, Elter Water, and Thurstan/s 
Water, the last an old name of Coniston Lake, we have 
the names Ulf, Geit, Skogul or Skeggkall, Eldir, and 
Thurstan. Ullswater is stated by tradition to derive 
its name from Ulf, the first baron of Greystock. 
According to Hutchinson, it was sometimes called 
Wolf's water, in allusion, as he supposes, to the wolves 
which used to frequent its shores. Wulf, however, 
is merely the Anglo-Saxon form of Ulf, and has 
nothing to do with wolves, further than that it is 
derived, probably characteristically enough, from the 
wolf-like ferocity of the first owner of the name. The 
Norman form of the same name was I'Ulf, the wolf, 
whence the name of Lyulph's tower, a shooting box 
built by the late Duke of Norfolk upc>n the site of ^ 
old castle on the Greystoke property bordering the lake. 


It was probably from this property that the lake has 
derived its name, and here may have been a residence 
of that first Baron of Greystoke who was variously 
called by the Scandinavian, Anglo-Saxon, and Norman 
* residents of the district, Ulf, Wulf, or I'Ulf. It is 
not necessary to assume, as some of the historians of 
the county have done, that he was the proprietor of 
( the whole of the lake. 

In the same manner Gateswater is also sometimes 
called Goats Water. In this case also I take it to be 
derived, not from any goats which used to feed in its 
neighbourhood, but from the proper name Geit, which 
signifies in Old Norse a goat. Names taken from ani- |^ 
mals were common among the Northmen, thus we have ' 
Ormr, a worm or serpent, from the serpent-like wisdom 
or subtilty of its owner, Hafr, a goat, Om, an eagle, "^J* 
and many others. 

The name of Brothers Water has been supposed to be 
derived from the circumstance of two brothers having a^' 
been drowned in it. But it is probably merely the 
coincidence between the circumstance and the name 
which has given rise to this supposition, for in old 
maps we find it called Broad Water, and Broader ' 
Water, and it is most probably derived from the Scan- 
dinavian proper name of Brodor. 

Crummock Water is a corruption of Crumbeck Water, 
from the Crumbeck, the stream which supplies it, now 
also corrupted into the Crummock. It is in all proba- 
bility derived from Krumr, a Scandinavian proper 
name, that of Crum, still common in Scotland, or 
Crumb, occurring, though more rarely, in our district. 

Tarn is the general name throughout the district for 
a lake of smaller size, and is derived from Norse twm, 



verb tdraz, to tickle, to slied teai-s. Flat Tarn corres- 
ponds to Flad' Soe, a lake in Norway. Floutem, in- 
correctly called Floutern Tarn, is from Norse J16% a 
marsh or bog, and Sprinkling Tarn, as suggested by 
the author of Black's glossaiy, may be the Danish 
springkllde, a source or fountain. Angle Tarn has been 
generally supposed to be so called from the good fishing 
to be found in it. But as we have also Anglestones 
and Anglebarrow, which obviously cannot be derived 
from such origin, I think there is every reason to con- 
clude that all three are derived from the Scandinavian 
proper name of Angel. Beacon Tarn is from the pro- 
per name of Becan, and in Talkin Tarn, we may pro- 
bably have Talkni, another Scandinavian proper name. 

Dvh signifies a pool or piece of water still smaller 
than a tarn, and is from Norse diup^ dypi, depth, 
Danish dyh, deep, such pieces of water being often of a 
depth much more than proportionate to their extent, i 
The word is sometimes applied to the sea, as in the 
phrase, " owert' dub," " over the sea." One might be 
disposed to think that the comparison between the 
mighty ocean and the smallest piece of water is made 
ironically, but it is in fact the original sense of the 
word, just as we say, " over the deep." There are 
many places on the lakes and flords of Norway in 
which this word is found, and it is, I apprehend, the ] 
origin of the name of Dieppe in Normandy, which is 
probably the same as Diupa in Iceland. As in general 
use in our district, the meaning of the word appears 
to have undergone some change, the idea of depth being 
no longer associated with it. 

From the ^oixls and lakes we naturally pass to the 
names of places on their shores, the bays, promontories. 








islands, &c. Wick or tm/ke, Norse vik, Anglo-Saxon uric, 
signifies a cove or small bay. Keswick, upon Derwent- 
water, which is probably the same name as Kjelsvik, 
in Norway, may perhaps be derived from keld or kel, a 
fountain ; or, it may be from kial^ a keel or boat, Kes- 
wick signifying "the bay of boats." Blowick, upon 
Ullswater, is from Ud-vik, " the blue cove." There is 
a place on the bay of Dublin called Bullock, a corrup- 
tion of the same name. 

iVess, Old Norse nes, Ang.-Sax. nceSy signifies a pro- 
montory or projecting piece of land. Upon the Solway 
Frith we have Bowness, formerly Bolness, from hoi, a 
dwelling, and Skinburness, from Skinnabiom, a Scan- 
dinavian proper name. There is also a Bowness upon 
Windermere, another upon Ennerdale Water, and a 
third upon Bassenthwaite Water. Upon the last- 
named lake we have also Scarness, from Norse ska/m, 
Ang.-Sax. scoern, dung of cattle, a word still in use 
in the district. Levens near Milnthorpe is a corrup- 
tion, as we find from Domesday Book, of Leveness. 

Furness, the furthest point of Lancashire north of 
the sands, I take to be derived, like the place of the 
same name in Norway, from/wr or fyr, a fire, light, 
beacon — a watch-tower having formerly stood here, to 
give alarm in case of any invasion of the coast. From 
the manner in which it is latinised in the foundation 
charter of the Abbey, Furness has been supposed to 
have been formerly Fudemess, and to have signified 
" the further promontory." But we Moderns are apt 
to look at ancient names sometimes in rather too geo- 
graphical a light. It is easy for us, with the map of 
England before us, to perceive the sense in which this 
might be called the further promontory, but the ancient 


inhabitants of the place would look at it more per se, i y 
and not so much in relation to the rest of England. { 
Fudemess, I take it, would have just the same meaning 
as Fumess, being derived from Norse yWr<», to flame 
or blaze. Beyond the point of Furness is a small island 
called Peel Island, on which are the ruins of a castle 
called the " Pile of Foudry." From this it is evident 
that the island formerly bore the name of Foudry, or 
Fuderey, " the flame island," from fudra, to flame, and 
" ey," an island. And it is probable that upon this 
castle was an advance beacon to give the alarm to the 
lookers-out on the watch-tower at Fumess. 

Airey. The Old Norse eyri signifies a sandy promon- 
tory, and may be the word from which Airey force on 
Ullswater is derived. This is a waterfall situated upon 
a projecting part of the lake, and the bridge which 
crosses the stream just before it enters the lake is also 
called Airey bridge. The place corresponds with the 
name, for the shore in that place is unusually sandy. 
However, the derivation is attended with some uncer- 
tainty; it might be from the proper name of Ary, 
whence Airay, or Airey, an old name, and still com- 
mon in the district. It scarcely could, as Airy Crag 
most probably is, be derived from an eyrie or eagle's 
nest. /^ 

Holme J Old Norse holmi, Ang.-Sax. Iiolm. The *' 
oldest sense of this word appears to be the Ang.-Sax., 
"water, the sea," whence has come the secondary 
meaning of an island, or place surrounded by water, 
and lastly, that of alluvial land by a river side. The 
second meaning is that in which it occurs in Norway 
and other Scandinavian countries, and the last is that 
in which alone it is still retained in use in our district. 


We find it, however, in the second sense in the names 
of many of the small islands upon our lakes, as in 
Lingholme, " heather island," upon Windermere, and 
Rampsholme upon Ullswater, corresponding to Lyng- 
holm and E-amsholm, small islands off the Norwegian 
coast. On Windermere we have also Silverholme, 
probably from the proper name of Solvar. 

The Scandinavian holmgangy a duel fought, originally, 
upon a small island, and subsequently in some cases 
within an area artificially inclosed, has been already 
y referred to. The Battle-holme found in some places 
in the North of England, as for instance, a holme so 
called close to Carlisle, has no connection with the 
above, but it is from Old English hattU or hetle "fertile," 
allied to Old Norse heit, a pasture, and Suio-Goth beta, 
to feed. Our word " bait," to feed, applied to horses, 
and the Cumberland " batten," to thrive, applied 
generally to children — also "beatment," a ration of 
provisions, and the Oxford term to " battle," to take 
up commons at a college, are all connected with the 

Ey^ Old Norse oe, also signifies an island. We have 
Walney, Foulney, and Whanney (whin island ?), at 
the point of Fumess. Also Foudry or Fuderey, re- 
ferred to in a former page. 

Strandy Old Norse strond, Norwegian and Ang.-Sax. 
strandy is a name given to many places situated on the 
lakes and fjords of Norway. We have also several 
instances of it in our district, the principal of which is 
the village of Strands, situated at the foot of Wastwater. 
Not far from this is a place called Holborn Hill, and it 
is rather curious thus to find in a remote part of Cum- 
berland the names of the two great thoroughfares of 


London — names which perhaps may in both cases have 
been given by the Northmen. 

When we come to the names of rivers we certainly 
find several which we have reason to believe are Celtic, 
but the remark has been made of England generally 
that even in districts where the names of places are the 
most exclusively Anglo-Saxon, very many of the rivers 
retain their Celtic appellations. Several of those in 
our district might be derived either from the Celtic or 
the Gothic, and have been claimed accordingly for each 
by the advocates of contending theories. Thus the 
Eden has been derived both from the Celtic eddain, a 
running stream, and from the Anglo-Saxon ea-den^ the 
river in the valley, and the Tyne, both from the Celtic 
tyn, double, in allusion to the two branches which 
form it, and from the Old Norse Una, to collect, in 
allusion to the many streams which unite together to 
form its source.* In some cases it is possible that the 
name may be said in a certain sense to be derived from 
both — that is, that the Anglo-Saxons or Northmen, 
finding a name already existing which had also a sig- 
nificance in their own language, might retain it under 
their own meaning. 

So long, however, as we confine ourselves to the ex- ^ 
amination of individual words, we proceed upon an 
uncertain principle ; but when we begin to classify the 
names in a district, we arrive at a more definite basis 

* Mr. Blackwell, in the glossary appended to Bohn's edition of 
Mallet's Northern Antiquities, explaining the derivation of Thyn, a 
river in Valhalla, from thynia or dynja, to thunder or make a thunder- 
ing noise, suggests the same origin for our river Tyne. This, I think, 
is the most probable derivation — names taken from the sound of their ^ ,y/^ 
waters being very common among rivers. J 



of investigation. Starting then upon this principle, we 
immediately perceive four various terms which enter 
largely into the names of rivers in the district, viz., ea 
or e, a, er, and en. Of these various terms, which all 
signify " water, a river," e or ea is the Anglo-Saxon, 
and a the Scandinavian form. We have the Eden, 
Ehen, Eamont, and the Ea, a provincial name given to 
the Leven. Ehen signifies, perhaps, "the waterfowl 
river," — " hen" being a word often used to denote fowl 
in general. Or it may be an Anglo-Saxon form of the 
Old Norse din, the river, the definite article in being 
appended, as usual in the Scandinavian languages. 

The Eden also may be more naturally derived from 
the Norse than either from the Celtic or Anglo-Saxon 
— see the termination en. 

The Eamont is a corruption of Eamot, signifying in 
Anglo-Saxon " the meeting of waters." This corrup- 
tion is as old as the time of Leland, who describes it as 
the "Emot, alias CEmont." But the original form of 
the name, as we find it generally in the earliest records, 
as for instance, an ancient charter, conveying certain 
lands near Penrith to the Abbey of Holme Cultram, 
and a proclamation of Langley, Bishop of Durham, 
about the year 1425, granting an indulgence of forty 
days to all who should contribute to build a bridge 
over this river, appears to have been " Amot," which 
is the Scandinavian form of the word. It is the name 
of a river in Norway, and also of several places situated 
at the confluence of two streams. This is one of the 
instances in which the Scandinavian form seems to 
have passed into the Anglo-Saxon. In the same 
county of Cumberland we find Beckermet, formerly 
Beckermot, signifying '^ the meeting of the brooks." 


The Scandinavian form of d occurs more generally 
as a termination, and entei-s into the names of a great 
number of the rivers of the district. We have the 
Rotha, Greta, Liza or Lissa, Wiza or Wisa, Betha or 
Bela, Bratha, Rathay, and Calda or Cawda. The 
Rotha, anciently Routha, is probably derived from 
Raud, a Scandinavian proper name, and is the same 
name as the Rauda in Iceland. The Bratha also may 
be from the proper name of Brath or Brat ; or from 
braUVf headlong, impetuous, the probable origin of the 
proper name. The Lissa or Liza may be from lissa^ 
torpor or weariness — this river forming along its course 
a great number of pools among the rocks, in which its 
waters seem to repose. Rathay is probably from reidvy 
which, as applied to a river, signifies in Old Norse 
** fordable on horseback." The Greta derives its name 
from Old Norse grdta^ North Eng. " greet," to weep 
or mourn, in allusion to the wailing sound made by its 
waters. There is another river of the same name 
which falls into the Lune ; also a Greta Beck in York- 
shire. And the Bela may be from Norse helia, North 
Eng. " beel," to roar or beUow. The Wiza or Wisa is 
the same name as the Visa, in Norway, and signifies 
probably "the holy river," from ve or ^;^, sacred, the 
origin of which name is further referred to in another 
place. The Calda is always spelt Caldew, but is uni- 
versally called in the district Cawda, " cawd " being a 
provincial form of cold. Though we find it in most of 
the oldest documents as Caldew, by some early writers, 
as Camden, it is spelt Cawda, as it is pronounced. So 
also in Denton's MSS., written about A.D. 1600. 
This, I apprehend, is the true word, Cawda signifying 
simply " the cold river " — one of the two streams 



which form it being called, previously to their junc- 
tion Caldbeck or Cawdbeck, "the cold brook." Kalda 
and Kaldbakr are also the names respectively of a river 
and of a brook in Iceland, and the name of Caudebec 
occurs likewise in Normandy. 

The termination er, properly dr, is the plural form 
of &, signifying water. It occurs in Germany and 
Switzerland in the form of ar, as in the Aar, the Isar 
" Ice river," and the Neckar, which is no doubt the 
plural form of the Nekaa in Norway, deriving its 
name from the water-spirit called the Neck. We have 
the Waver, Cocker, Winster, Lowther, and Calder, 
the last of which has been derived from the Celtic 
^^l^:fi':Ai/,kd-dwry "the wooded water," but may be more pro- 
L»j»- ^lU^ bably from the same origin as the Calda. The Lowther 

also (in Leland Loder) has been derived from the 
^,'^,^ ^-f'i, Celtic loyw-dwr, "clear water," but may be from 
i^^-.^-V'- Norse hlibda, to sound, cognate with Eng. "loud" — 
the name being derived, like many others, from the 
sound of its waters. The Winster I take also to be 
the same name as the Yinstra in Norway, while the 
Rother in Yorkshire may be the same as, or rather the 
plural form of, the Rotha in Westmoreland. Among 
other names in Yorkshire we have the Air, same name, 
I take it, as the Aar, and the Humber, " humming 
river," Norse hwmma, — ^whence Eng. " hum," which is 
not found in Anglo-Saxon. 

Another common form of termination is en or cm, of 
which we have the Duddon, Marron, Leven, Ellen, <fcc. 
This is a common form in Norway, where we have the 
Namsen, Glommen, Alten, Ulen, Susen, &c. It is, 
I apprehend, the demonstrative form of the word — 
^ Ay a river, becoming, in Old Norse, dirty the river ; the 

definite article m, Dan. ew, being added as an affix. 


The Marron, Leven, Gowan, and Ellen might be 
derived from the proper names Mar, Leif, Levi or 
Lefy, Go, and EUi. Or the last from dli, an alder — 
" the alder river." The Duddon is probably from Ice. 
dudr, another form of dunr, thunder or a thundering 
noise, and has the same meaning as the Dun in York- 
shire. The Eden, as before mentioned, has been derived 
variously from the Celtic eddain, a running stream, 
and the Ang.-Sax. ea-den, " valley river." I think, 
however, that the Old Norse yda, to flow together, 
furnishes the most appropriate etymology for this 
river, which receives the greater part of the streams of 
the eastern water shed in both these two counties. 
Hence its name, like that of the Eamot or Amot, 
would be equivalent to " the confluence of waters." 

A curious name is that of the Lyvennet, if, as 
appears rather probably the case, it be the same as 
that of Leven, with the definite article et appended. 
In that case it must be a more recent corruption, as it 
would contain a double definite article, both the mascu- 
line and the neuter. This may appear rather impro- 
bable, but there seem to be some traces, as will be 
noticed in the next chapter, of a tendency in the dis- 
trict towards the exclusive use of the neuter article. 
And if we could suppose the other articles to have 
become obsolete, such a word as the one in question 
might not unnaturally be formed. But this is a nice 
etymological point to which I do not wish to do more 
than call attention. 

Of names not comprehended under the above we\ 
have the Wampool, a corruption of Wathpool, from 
wath, a ford, and which may be either Anglo-Saxon or 
Scandinavian. The Crake, which flows out of Coniston 


lake, is probably derived from kreUcaf to go sluggishly, 
a term applicable to this river, which runs through 
a peat moss. The Nith in Dumfriesshire is no doubt 
the same name as the Nid in Yorkshire, and the Nid 
in Norway, derived from nidr, murmur, as of a 
running stream — the change of d into th being in 
accordance with a usual process. The Scandinavian 
character of the terms made use of by the fishermen of 
the Nith has been remarked by several writers. 

Of other rivers deriving their names from the sound 
of their waters are the Gelt and the Esk, of which lat- 
ter there are two, one joining the Eden at its embow- 
chure in the Solway Frith, and the other falling into 
the sea at Ravenglass. The former name is probably 
from gelt, barking or howling, and the latter from, oakr, 
a roaring. 

There are one or two names which appear to be from 
the Old Norse os, mouth or opening of a river or a 
lake. Thus the bridge over the Derwent, just after it 
flows out of Bassenthwaite water, is called Ouse Bridge. 
Leland, in a rather obscure passage of the Itinera, ap- 
pears to give this name to the lake itself. " The ryver 
of Dargwent, after that he cummeth to a strayte curse, 
casteth out an arme of his abundant water that maketh 
a poole or lough called Use, and afterward strayteth, 
and at the last cummeth ynto Dargwent (Derwent- 
water), and so maketh an isle." I apprehend that he 
must have fallen into the mistake of giving to the whole 
lake a name belonging only to a certain part, viz., the 
place whence the river Derwent issues at its foot. A 
mistake of a similar kind he appears to make with re- 
spect to Windermere, which he calls " Wynermere- 
wath " — a name which — " wath " signifying a ford — 


could not be given to the lake itself, but might belong 
to some particular part, or to some place on its shores. 
From the same writer it appears that the stream which 
flows out of Hawswater was also called the Ouse. 
And there is a place called Eusemere, at the foot of 
Ullswater, where the Eamont flows out of the lake ; 
this name appears to be derived from the " lake mouth" 
near which it is situated. Ouse is also a name common 
to several rivers, as the Ous in Norway, and the Ouse 
in Yorkshire. The Isis also was formerly called the 
Ouse, and Oxford Ouseford. . 

One of the rivers of Westmoreland bears the curious V 
name of " St. Sunday river," of the meaning of which 
I am unable to ofier any explanation. The same name 
is found in St. Sunday's crag »p<wa Helvellyn. <^'7^^-« * 'X / 

There still remain a fair proportion of names which 
may probably be attributed to the Celtic, as the Der- 
went, Bleng, Irt, &c. Of this last, Bullet, who never 
sticks at trifles, gives an etymology worth " making a 
note of." Pearls, he says, have been found in it, 
whence its name, signifying " marvellous, prodigious." 
We might indeed say with Dominie Sampson — 
pro-di-gi-ous ! ^ 

It will be seen then, that while among the rivers of '/ 
the district there are, as we find everywhere to be the 
case, some which retain their ancient British names, 
and also one or two which we have reason to consider 
Anglo-Saxon, not only does the Scandinavian character 
appear to predominate upon the whole ; but in several 
instances, to which I have alluded, we find the same 
names as in Norway and Iceland. . 

Becky Old Norse bekr^ is the general name for a y 
brook throughout the Danish districts of England, 




except Northumberland, where, as in Scotland, it 
changes generally into hum — the boundaries of Cum- 
^ berland being almost the exact line of division. Becc 
also occurs as an Anglo-Saxon word in Lye, but there 
is some doubt whether it is properly so classed. The 
Editor of Boucher's glossary is of opinion that he has 
fallen into a mistake from finding it in some old charter 
which he believed to be Sa,xon. At all events it is 
only found in districts colonised by the Northmen — as 
Iceland, Normandy, and the Danish districts of Eng- 
land. Hickes (Gram. Franc-Theot.) remarks that this 
word came from the Normans to the French, and from 
the Danes to the Northern inhabitants of England. 
Coupland Beck is a corruption of Coupman Beck, from 
kompTncmn, a merchant, probably here a proper name. - 
Sike, Old Norse siki, Anglo- Sax. sic, is the name 
given in Scotland and the North of England to a 
water-course usually dry in summer. This is the dis- 
tinctive peculiarity of the term, which may be from 
the Norse s'dckva, or siga, Ang.-Sax. sigan, to sink, to 
fail, to be dry. The names " Sink Beck" and " Sike 
Beck," found in the district, appear to show the origin 
of the word. There is a brook caUed Sokkvabekkr, 
"sinking brook," mentioned in Scandinavian mytho- 
logy, but it is not clear whether it has the same sense 
as the above. 

Wath, wad, Old Norse vad, Ang.-Sax. wad, is the 
general term throughout the North of England for a 
ford, vide Skinner, " vox septentionali Anglise propria." 
It is from Norse vad a, Ang.-Sax. wadan, of which the 
primary meaning is, like the Latin vado, to go, whence 
the diminutive " waddle." The secondary meaning is 
to wade or go through water, whence is derived the 
word wath, corresponding to the Latin vadum, a ford. 



We have also the word wad in Cumberland in the 
primary sense of a district or beat, as when two places 
are said to lie *'in the same wad." 

Gillj Old Norse gil, signifies a ravine or fissure of a 
mountain. Ray, quoting it as a Sussex word, explains 
it " a rivulet, a beck." In our district, though a gill 
very commonly has a stream of water running along 
its bottom, yet it is by no means necessarily the case, 
nor does it enter into the meaning of the word, which 
is from Norse giliaj to open out, to tear asunder. Yet 
even in Old Norse the meaning of " water" appears 
sometimes to have been attached to it. In the glos- 
sary of the Kristni Saga it is explained " a stream 
issuing out of the fissure of a rock — properly the fissure 
itself" In some of the names of our district, as Ease 
Gill, and Aygill, which are probably respectively from 
eaSf Aug.-Sax. "watercourses," and d Norse "water," 
the correct distinction is made. As before mentioned, i 
,j, giU appears to have been a very common division of v' 
land, and hence is very frequently found coupled with ^ 
a proper name. 

Kdd, kel, Old Norse kelda, Ang.-Sax. keld, Suio- 
Ooth kcdla, Danish kilde, signifies a fountain. Old 
Norse kelda^ also denotes a wet and marshy place 
such as is generally found around the springs upon the 
mountains. We have Gunnars keld and Butter eld 
keld, which latter I suppose to be from Buthar elldr, 
Buthar the old, or the elder. Springkel, on the other 
side of the border, may be the Danish apringkildey a ^ 
fountain. The name Buckle, which occurs both in our " 
district and in Norway, seems to be compounded of 
M "cattle," and kel^ "a fountain," and to signify a 
place for watering cattle. The word " keld " is also 



f applied to tlie still parts of a lake or river which have, 
an oily smoothness while the rest of the water is 
I ruffled. Brockett mentions having heard this word 
used on the Tyne, and the same expression is also 
applied to the still places on Ullswater and other lakes. 
The writer in the Kendal Mercury observes : — " The 
keld of UUswater which is described as having the 
appearance of oil poured on the lake, is to be accounted 
for from Old Norse helda, a marsh, on the pools of 
which a greasy matter is very commonly to be seen 

MirSj Old Norse myrij signifies a bog or fen, and is 
a very common term in our district as in Norway and 
Iceland. We have Grismire, " the swine bog ;" 
Wragmire, probably from Old Norse rakj " wet ;" and 
Sourmire, from Old Norse scww, dung of cattle, the 
name being descriptive of a quagmire of that sort often 
seen before the summer chalets of Switzerland. In 
Norway we find Rossemyre ; in Iceland Skalamyre, <kc. 

Flow, Old Norse Jloi, also signifies a morass or bog. 
We have Wedliolme flow, Flow moss, near Shap, and 
Solway flow, better known by the name of Solway 
moss. It also occurs in composition in Floutem. In 
Iceland we find Biarneyfloi, from Biamey, a proper 

Force y Old Norse ybrs, Norwegian ^055, is the general 
name throughout the district for a waterfall, and is 
derived from Old Norse forsa, " to rush furiously." 

Spouty Old Norse spyta, Suio-Goth. sputa, is another 
word used, but less frequently for a waterfall. We 
have Cautley spout and Galeforth spout in Westmore- 
land, while in Norway we find a lake called Spyten 
vand, " the spout water." 


Patj Old Norse pottr, is applied to the deep circular 
holes which a river forms in the rocks which compose 
its bed. Also more generally to any bason-shaped 
hoUow or cavity. The mountain called Lade Pot 
probably derives its name from a cavity of this sort 
upon its summit. The word is notable chiefly on 
account of the frequency with which it is joined to a 
Scandinavian proper name, and the oddly-sounding 
words which in some cases are the result. We have 
Bull pot, Spear pots. Help pot, from the names Boll, 
Sporr, Hialp. And Kettle pot, Butterpot, Honeypot, 
from the names Ketil, Buthar, and Hogni. 




"We have now gone through a list of about eighty 
terms, which, with more or less certainty, we may 
presume to be Scandinavian. There are one or two 
others, which have been overlooked in their place, as 
hidd, probably from hyliy a dwelling. We have Dodd 
Bield, Scale-house Bield, and Nan Bield — ^the last being 
the name given to the pass between Kentmere and 
Mardale, In Black's glossary " Nan" is derived from 
Welsh narit, a hollow formed by water, a ravine. I 
think, however, that it is merely the name of the per- 
son who occupied the dwelling ; it may be from Nanna, 
a fejnale name in Scandinavian mythology ; or it may 
be euphonic for An, Annar, or Ani, a name found, 
as I take it, in several instances in the district, as in 
Ann's hill, Anna side. 
A On the other hand there is one term to which I 
V have evidently assigned a wrong meaning. This is 
" cove," which I supposed to be from kojiy a shepherd's 
hut or mountain cottage. My reason for so doing was 
that it is generally coupled with a proper name. And 
though a "cove" is in fact a hollow in a mountain, 
yet such sheltered places would naturally be selected 
for the site of a hut or dwelling. But some of the 
names in Yorkshire, in which it is found joined with 
another word signif^Tug a dwelling, show that the 


ordinary meaning of a recess or hollow is the correct 

We have two or three places called " Storth," pro- 
bably from Norse stord, one of the meanings of which 
is " a battle," of which the places in question may 
have been the site. But a name more clearly com- 
memorative of a field of battle is " Orrest," Old Norse 
orrusta, Ang.-Sax. orrest. There are four places near 
the railway terminus at Windermere called respectively 
Orrest, High Orrest, Near Orrest, and Orrest-head — 
names probably marking, either the various positions, 
or the shifting stages, of some important battle. 

Among the epithets which enter most commonly 
into the names of places are lang, mickle, lile, mirk, 
and cawd or cold, the last in particular a very com- 
mon term both here and in Norway, expressive of the 
situation of many places in both countries exposed to 
the blasts upon the mountains, or hidden from the sun 
in the deep shade of the valleys. There are other 
terms now obsolete, as "cringle" in Cringle Gill, 
Cringle Dike. This is probably from Norse kringltty a 
circle, but the meaning here must probably be under- 
stood rather as curving or bending in the manner of a 
circle. " Hell" enters into the composition of several 
names, as Helton, Hell Gill, Hell Beck. The last, like 
Hel Foss in Norway, may be from hdla, to pour ; the 
others may probably, like Helstad and Helvig in Nor- 
way, be derived from a proper name, perhaps Hela, the 
goddess of death in Scandinavian mythology, or the 
proper name of HelgL 

Scandinavian names of animals enter very frequently 
into the names of places. We have hestr, a horse, in 
Hest Bank, Hest Fell, and Hest Holme. Hross, a horse, 



originally a mare, occurs in Rosley, the seat of the prin- 
cipal horse-fair in Cumberland, the antiquity of which 
appears to be thus attested by the name. The termination 
" ley" is probably from Norse log, Ang.-Sax. leg, leak, a 
district, a place. In other instances, as in Rossthwaite, 
Ross Gill, the word has probably become a proper name — 
that of Ross, not unfrequent in the district. Saudr, a 
sheep, occurs perhaps in Souter Fell, Soutergate, and 
Souden Hill. Faar, sheep, in Fairfield, seems to me 
doubtful. Kanin, a rabbit, may not improbably be the 
origin of Cannonby, a village situated near the rabbit- 
warren between Maryport and Allonby. G&s, a goose, 
(or goes, plural, geese) occurs in Gasgarth, Gaskeld, 
Gasdale. Padda, a frog, may perhaps be found in 
Paddy gill — more certainly in Paddon Beck, the frog 
brook. Grisy a wild swine, gives the name to many 
places in the district, as Grisdale, Mungrisdale (or 
Monk Grisdale, formerly a possession of the Monks) 
Grismire (swine bog), &c. Even the beautiful lake of 
Graamere is said to derive its name, (originally Gris- 
mere) — not from the luxuriant verdure which sur- 
rounds it — but, less poetically, from the wild swine 
which used to frequent its shores. I think, however, 
that in this last case, if not in some of the others, 
" Gris" is a proper name ; it is still found as such in 
the district. So also Bordale, Burton, (formerly Borton), 
and Borrodale, I should take to be from Bor and 
r/^Borrhy as proper names. Indeed, others of the above 
names, as hestr, a horse, and gas, a goose, were also 
borne by the Northmen as proper names, so that it is 
often impossible to say in what sense the derivations 
are to be understood. In the name of Goose How the 
word is without much doubt a proper name. 


Among the names of trees we have the roan or 
rowan tree, Dan. ronnetre, the mountain ash — a word 
still* in use. The Old Norse form of the word is 
reynir^ which I take to be the origin of the place in Cum- 
berland called Raynors — "the mountain ashes." Ell 
or elliy the alder, occurs in the place called Ellers, " the 
alders," in which name the English plural seems to 
have been added to the Scandinavian. In some other 
cases, as Elleray, the word may be derived from the 
proper name of EllL We have also " ask," N. askr, 
Ang.-Sax. cesCj the ash, and " birk," N. hidrhy birki, 
Ang.-Sax. bi/rce, the birch. Askham I have previously 
supposed to signify "the home among the ashes." But 
as Askr was also a Scandinavian proper name — ^the 
first, man being supposed in Northern mythology to 
have been created out of the ash tree — ^it is as probable, 
perhaps more so, that this is the origin of the name. 
In some words, as Birker Fell, and Birker Force, we 
have the plural form of birki, a birch, and in the place 
called " Birkett" we appear to have it with the defi- 
nite article et — " the birch." I have before referred to 
an apparent tendency in the district towards the irre- 
gular use of the neuter definite article in place of the 
masculine and feminine. It appears to be found in 
some of the names of trees, as in Asket dub, Aiket 
pike, which seem to be " the ash dub," " the oak pike" 
— aa well as in some other words. Old Norse vidirj 
Dan. vidie, Ang.-Sax. withie, a willow, occurs in se- 
veral names, at Withy sike, Wither slack, &c. 

Among the names of plants we have " ling," N. ling, 
heather — " sieve," Dan. siv, a rush — " smere," N. smar, 
clover, which is probably the origin of Smardale — 
" bigg/' N- ^1/99} barley — " haver," N. hafrar, oats — 


" bleaberry," N. bldboerj the whortle berry — " hind- 
berry," Norw. hindbosr, the raspbeiTy. These are all 
in ordinary use, excepting " smere," which is nearly 
obsolete. Red and white currants are called with us 
" wineberries," as in Norway vinhodr. This also obtains 
in Craven, according to Mr. Carr. Our word "whin," 
furze, may perhaps be from the Old Norse hvann, 
though the shrub of that name found in Norway and 
Iceland is not the same as ours, which cannot stand 
the cold of those climates. But from the old name of 
one of the small islands at the point of Fumess, 
Whanney, which I take to be " whin island," it seems 
rather probable that our word is derived from the 

In some cases we find the original names of places 
curiously twisted to a modem sound. Thus we have 
Silly Wreay, Heedless Gill, Cunning Garth, Mealy 
Sike, and Candy Slack, which we may explain as " the 
happy or pleasant nook," (the Old Eng. " sely") — "the 
king's camp or enclosure" — "the boundary water- 
course " — and " the bowl-shaped hollow." While 
Heedless Gill is probably from the proper name Hood- 
less, the Old Norse Hudlaiis. 

A peculiar manner of combining a number of words 
together may be remarked upon as prevalent both in 
this district and in Norway. Thus in Scalthwaiterigg 
Gate in Westmoreland we have a string of four words 
signifying " the road to the log-house in the cleared 
ground upon the ridge." So in Norway Vikneshobner, 
" the islands in the bay beside the promontory," 
Myrkkaddal, " the dark and cold valley," &c. The 
same peculiarity is still to be found in the dialect of 
Cumberland and Westmoreland. 



By far the most common prefix in our names of places \J 
consists, as has been already observed, of a Scandina- 
vian proper name, which in many cases may be that of 
an original Northern settler. Not in all cases, how- 
ever, as several of these names, as Ulf, Orme, Ketil, 
were common for some centuries after the conquest, 
while others remain to the present time, and the origin 
of some of our names of places may be traced to these 
later founders. 

Many of these names have already been referred to, 
but as there can be no more conclusive proof of the 
extent to which this part of the kingdom was colonized 
by the Northmen, I think it may not be out of place 
to give a summary of them, amounting to upwards of 
150 names, many of which are of frequent occurrence. 
The terms with which they are most frequently com- \/ 
bined denote a possession or place of residence, a grave 
or a memorial stone, a mountain or lake near which 
the settler lived, or some object forming the boundary 
of his property — no word being more generally com- 
bined with a proper name than " gill," a small ravine, 
which seems, particularly in the mountain district, to 
have been the most common mark of division. 



In some few instances places are called simply by a 
proper name without any other word attached to it. 
Thus we have places called Rowell, Goat, Winder, 
Rutter, Stanger, Norman, Docker, Burrells. It is 
probable that all these were, like the last, originally 
used eUiptically in the possessive case. 
/ The derivations in the subjoined list are not in all 
/ cases self^ippare^— some of them may be disputed, 
and some may be controverted, but I think that sub- 
stantially there will not be found to be any very great 
difference of opinion among those who may take the 
trouble to investigate them. * 






A 1st en 

Alstonby W 
Allithwaite, Alston ^ 

Ali, or Atli 


Amber HiU 

Arn, Arin 

Arnside, Amaby 


Anglebarrow, Anglestones, 



Askelside ^ 




Airey Hill, perhaps Airey 



Blakethwaite, Blake Fell, 



BaUd Mire 


Balderscai*th, Baldersdale 


Bannerdale, Bannerrigg 


Bamsdale, Barnscar 


Bransty, Branthwaite, 








Beck Cote 

Bekan , 

Beaconhill, Beacontam, 

Bor , 

Bordale, Burton, formerly 




Barrock Fell 


Blease FeU 




Backbarrow, Backstonegill, 


Broadhow, Broadstones 


Brotherswater, formerly 


Bumbarrow, Burnthwaite 


Brownhow, Brunstock, Brun- 










Butt how 

Buthar, Butar, 

Buttermere, Butterhill, But- 

Buthar lipr 
Buthar elldr 



Dockergarth, Dockray 


Dylla Kar 




Daffenside, Dovengill 
Durran hill 
Dillicar knot 
Dolphin-sty, Dolphin-seat 
Dolphinby, or Dovenby 
Dalton, Dalston 

Doli, (or Toll), Wagen Dolly Waggon pike 
Dufr Dufton 







Elderbeck, Elterwater 




Froswick, Frostham 


Goose how 

Geiri, Gari 

Gamblesby a 


Gellstone, Gellber 




Gratesgill, Gatesgarth, Grates- 
earth, Gateswater,Gate crag, 
Gate scale 


Gowban-ow, Guwthwaite 



Grimeshill, Griniesmoor 











Goodley hill 


Gunnershow, Giinnerskeld 




Hallthwaite, Hallside, Hallgill 


A mbleside 


Hackthorpe, Hackett (cot) 




Harraby, Harrowthwaite, 

Harold's hill 






Hawkshead, Hawkadale, 

Hawkrigg, Hawksearth 


Harehow, Harwith 

Heidur, Hodur 



Hemming's hill 




Whelpside, Whelphow, Help- 



Yearn gill 




Knocking tofts 


Homsby, Homsgill 



Hrani, Hreinn 

Ransdale, Rainsbarrow, Wren- 



Roehill, Rose hill 




Hunger hill 







Hund hows 


Hunting how 


Whitbarrow, Whitehows 




Roman fell 



Ivar, or Evar 



Corn how, Comey fell 


Ketside, Kitts how 


Crackenthorpe, Craika 




Colby, Coal giU 

Ketil • 

Kettleside, Kettlewell, Kelton 

or Kettleton 



Loki, Loker 

Lockthwaite, Lockholm, 

Lockerby, Lockerbarrow 


Lamb how 


Linethwaite, Linskill, Tiinstock 


Lowdenhow or Lodenhow 


Lodge gill 


Mardale, Maires stone 


Manesty, Mainsgate 


Meldon hill 






Mickleham, Mickle FeE 




Mioll Milium, Mill how, Mill stone 



Mud gill 




Ormside, Ormathwaite, Orms- 

gill, Ormstead hill 

Oddr, or Otr 

Otts how 


Oddy house, Hodbarrow 




Seatoller, Hollow stones, 



Ravensworth or Ravenside 

Ravenbeck, Ravenstonedale 





Raud, Rodd 

Redhow, Rotha, or Routha 

Rempi \ 

Rampsbeck, Rampshow, 

Rampi > 
Rami ) 

Rampsgill, Rra,nipside 










Siggethwaite, Sickergill 

Sindur, or Sindri 



Stanisceugh, Staingill 






Spearpots, Spurston 









Swineside, Swindale, Swine- 






Silverdale, Silverholme 






Starmire, Stargill 






Scale how, Scalegill 

Skiita, Skota 

Scouthow, Scoutscar 


Scaldknot, Skalderskew 


Skeggles water 


Summerhow, Summerhill 


Thursby, ThursgiU 


Thurstanswater, Thurstonfield 





Thorfinnr ) 
Thorpinnr / 

Torpenhow, Thorfina-sty 


Thornby, Thomythwaite, 

Thornyscale, Thomeystone, 



Tanners how 


Talkin tarn 








Uni Woundale 

Ulfr Ulpha, Ulsker, Uldale, Ulls- 

water, Ullcoats, Ullthwaite 
Ulfar Ulverston 

Vestar Westerdale 

Vickar Wickerslack, Vicars island 

Vali Wallowbarrow 

Vadi Wads how 

Vedur Weatherhill 

"Windar Windermere, Winderwath, 


The names in the foregoing list are those which I 
have actually found to have been borne by Northmen. 
Yet there are several others which are almost as cer- 
tainly Scandinavian proper names. Thus Farmanby 
is no doubt from " Farm an," a traveller or faring man, 
used as a surname, and Hunsonby from " Hunsen," a 
proper name, from hurij a bear's cub. So Armthwaite, 
Armboth, Armside, are evidently from the surname 
** Armr," which may mean either poor or lazy j and 
Skirsgill, Skirwith, from " Skir," which may be either 
wise or innocent — the name Scurr being still found in 
that part of the county. 

I have before referred to the character of these 
proper names as affording a corroborative proof of an 
immigration more particularly Norwegian. Thus, ot 
the names in the above list nearly two-thirds are to be 
found in the Landnamabok, or list of Norwegian set- 
tlers in Iceland, alone. There are some, however, 
which are no doubt Danish, as Banner, first assumed. 



according to Saxo Grammaticus, by a Dane named 
Tymmo, after a battle between Canute and Edwaud of VV*« 
England. Hence, he adds, " origo nobillissimae apnd 
Danos stirpis Bannerorum." There are several other 
names which are probably Danish, and it is possible 
that the number of them might be relatively aug- 
mented by those which I have not yet been able to 
assign. StiU, however, there would, I apprehend, be 
in any case a preponderance of Norwegian names. 
But this is a nice point upon which it would be more 
within the province of a Northern antiquary to 

We now come to treat of the Scandinavian family 
names still in use in the district. And here we have 
no longer the same imposing list to produce. Various 
causes, which will be hereafter referred to, have 
tended to decrease the number of these names. Yet 
as every district ' in England presents, in greater or 
less degree, something of a distinctive character in its 
family names, it will be right for us to inquire to what 
extent the peculiarity of these in our district is owing 
to the Scandinavian colonization. It is, generally 
speaking, neither among the highest nor yet the lowest 
class that we should expect to find the strongest traces 
of this colonization, for, owing to opposite causes, both 
these classes have been subject to greater fluctuations. 
It is chiefly among the tradesmen in the country towns, 
and among the farmers and " statesmen," or small pro- 
prietors, who have lived from generation to generation 
upon the land, that these names are to be found. 
Thickly around Windermere cluster the dwellings of 
gentry gathered from various parts of England, but in 
obscurity live on the men who bear the name of him 
after whom the lake was called eight hundred years ago. 


Many of tlie names in the following list will at once 
be recognized as regular Cumberland and Westmoreland 
names. Others of them are not of frequent occurrence, 
but I have not inserted any name which does not, to 
the best of my knowledge, properly belong to these 






Ari (a servant) {" 


Bama (child, son) 








Birna (a bear) 






Blaka (pale) 


Boek (a Norwegian name, 

perhaps the Old Norse name 



Bragi (the god of poetry) 

Bum, Bums 

Bibm (a bear) 








Konall (Konr, a king, and atlr^ 

















Forseti (the judge, literally the 
fore-seated, one of the Scan- 
dinavian deities) 

Freyr (the name of the deitj 
symbolizing the sun) 

Gamal (old) 

Geit (a goat) 

Gramr ("wroth" — ^poetically a 

Grimr ("helmeted," a title of 

Gris (a wild swine) 

Haldon, Haddon 





Hafr (a goat) 


Hogni (tom-cat) 


Herdr (hard) 


Horn (a title of Freyja) 


Huginn (the name of one of 

Odin's ravens, probably from 

huga, to cogitate) 


Erlendr (foreigner) 




Lodinn (perhaps from lodinn, 

a sheep) 

Main, Mann 

Mani (the moon, which is 

masculine in Scandinavian 




Mair, Marr, Marrs Mar 

Meales Mibl (fresh snow) 




Asbiorn (the divine bear) 




Hrolfr (mighty) 


Hrani (probably from ran^ 



Hryggr (sad) 

Roe, Roy 

Hroi (King, hero) 




Skeifr (timid, fearful) 











Sveinn (a youth, servant) 



Tate, Tait 

Teitr (either from teitr^ a foal, 

or tdtVy joyful) 




Thorfinnr, Thorpinnr 


Vikar (probably from vik, a 
> bay, and of same meaning 
as ** Viking") 




Waite, Watt Hvati (alert, active) 

Wilkins Yilkinr . y.. » . 

Winder Windar 

Wren, Raine Hreinn (reindeer) 

There are also, as in the former case, a few names 
which, though I have not met with them in any list 
as borne by Northmen, are evidently Scandinavian. 
Such is Tordiff— " Thor the subduer," jfrom Thor, and 
di/aj to subdue. 

There is not much doubt that the termination 
" son," so common in our proper names, is Scandinavian 
in its origin. Verstegan* refers to it as a matter of 
popular tradition. " It remayneth, as it were by tradi- 
tion among some of our country people that those 
whose surnames end in * son,' as Johnson, Thomson, 
Nicolson, Davison, Saunderson, and the like, are de- 
scended of Danish race." He goes on to dispute this 
on the ground that many of the names in which it 
occurs cannot be supposed to be Danish. In this he 
is so far right as the tradition overstates the truth. 
There is no warrant for supposing aU the persons whose 
names end in " son" to be of Danish origin, though the 
termination itself may be Danish. It is admitted on 
all hands that the termination by in the names of 
places is Scandinavian, yet Roberby and Richardby 
contain names which clearly are not Scandinavian. 
Yet we should unquestionably have a right to expect 

* Restitution of Decayed Intelligence. 


that a considerable proportion of the names ending in V 
" son" should be altogether Scandinavian. And this 
can be shown to be the case — ^take the following names 
belonging to our own district. Allison, AUinson, 
Alderson, Anderson, Amison, Carson, Corson, Danson, 
Ellison, Gunson, Hanson, Nanson, Nelson, Pearson, 
Rawson, Randerson, Rennison, Sanderson, Simson, 
Swainson, Tolson, Wabson, Wadeson. All these names 
are, without much doubt, Scandinavian, and some of 
them are common in Denmark at the present day. Others 
also of the names common in England, as Thomson, 
Mathison, Stephenson, and Johnson are of frequent 
occurrence in the Scandinavian north — the last in par- 
ticular being the most common name in Iceland. 

Upon the whole, Scandinavian family names can 
scarcely be said to be more common in our district than 
in the other Northern counties, and are, I think, 
rather less so than in Scotland. 

Among the causes which have conduced to their 
diminution the most obvious is the interchange of 
population which is continually going on throughout 
the kingdom, and which, however trifling in any 
particular district, cannot fail to make itself felt in 
the course of seven or eight centuries. 

Another, and a more potent cause, has been, no 
doubt, the practise of baptizing the converts to Chris- 
tianity under new names. Men who bore the names 
of heathen gods, such as Thor and Odin, could not 
more emphatically signalize their conversion than by 
abjuring the titles which were so strongly identified 
with their old pagan worship ; and the missionaries of 
Christianity showed some knowledge of human nature 
in requiring this proof of their sincerity. For to many 


\[ a man it might seem a lighter thing to go through the 
ceremony of baptism than to cast off the name of the 
warrior-god in whom he had exulted. And the very- 
mention of his name furnished for ever afterwards a 
standing protest among his neighbours against idolatry. 

But perhaps the most important cause by which these 
old names have been superseded is one we can trace 
even now in a measure going on before us. 

In Cumberland, as in Scotland, it is a very common 
V practice to give men names taken from the places which 
they inhabit. This has originated, no doubt, in the 
necessity of distinguishing between persons of the same 
name, where the range of christian names is limited. 
Thus we have John o' the gate, Dick o' the fell, Tom 
o' the how, &c., and the manner in which John o' the 
gate would become John Gate, Dick o' the feU E-ichard 
FeU, and Tom o' the how Thomas Howe, it is not diffi- 
cult to understand. 

Some curious examples of a similar practice are given 
in the notes to Mark Lonsdale's poem of the " Upshot,** 
in the " Cumberland and Westmoreland dialects." The 
writer observes, " In several towns there are found so 
many of the same surname that they are obliged to use 
either combinations of the family christian names, or to 
adopt some bye-title appropriate to the person spoken 
of" Among the instances given are " Laird o' Foald 
(Laird Hodgson), a person of landed property, whose 
house stood within a foald or farm-yard." " Bill o' 
Foald (William Hodgson), son to the preceding." 
"Paddigal William (William Hodgson), from the 
family having formerly lived at a place called Park 
gill, corrupted in pronunciation into Paddigal." " Dub 
WuLLY (William Hodgson), from a dub or small piece 
of water near his house." 


But the moat curious form, illustrating at once the 

mode of distinguishing individuals — the power which 

the dialect has of forming unlimited compounds — and \ 

its neglect of the possessive case — is found in the fol- / ^/^ 

lowing, from the " Upshot" : — 

" Oal Peat wife laikt wi Nan-Rob-Jack, 
Because she was his goddy." 

Nan-Rob-Jack denotes John Hodgson, the son of 
Robert, the son of Ann. Nor is the power of com- 
bination exhausted even in this, for we have Nan-Rob- 
Robin-Robin, "vdz., Robert Hodgson, the son of Robert, 
the son of Robert, the son of Ann. 

To such an extent has the practice of taking names %/ 
from the family residence prevailed in the district, 
that out of a list given by Lysons of fifty-five Cum- 
berland families extinct before 1500, no fewer than 
thirty-nine take their names from the places where 
they were settled, as Allonby of Allonby, Bassen- 
thwaite of Bassenthwaite, &c., and of the rest a con- 
siderable proportion appear to have migrated from 
other counties. 

Thus then a very great number of the family names y 
of the district are in fact Scandinavian, taken from the 
names of places. The names Fell, Howe, Gate, Gill, 
Rigg, Slack, Thwaite, Garth, Bowes, Beck, Dale, 
Gale, Ray, Hope, Mire, By, or their compounds, as 
Homsby, Crosby, Blamire, Crosthwaite, Satterthwaite, 
Dockray, &c., are amongst the most common names of 
the district The names Gate, Rigg, and Beck may, 
however — at least in some cases — be derived, not from 
a locality, but from Geit, Hryggr, and Bekkr, original 
names of Northmen, as before referred to. 



We now come to trace the marks of Norwegian descent 
as they are to be found in the characteristics, physical 
and moral, and in the manners and customs of the 
inhabitants of the district. This is a branch of the 
subject upon which it is not my intention to dwell 
otherwise than in a cursory manner, for we have no 
longer the same distinct grounds on which to found an 
argument as those which were afforded us in the pre- 
ceding chapters. Yet there are features of resemblance 
which are not to be disregarded, and which are indeed 
necessary to make the evidence complete. For it would 
be a weak point in the theory if the inhabitants of the 
district — one too more particularly secluded from the 
rest of England — did not, so far as they exhibit any 
distinctive characteristics, present some features in 
accordance with the theory which I have suggested for 
their origin. 

I have before remarked on the evidence afforded by 
the examination of Scandinavian graves as to the 
gigantic stature of some of the Northern vikings. And 
the records of the district afford many instances of men 
not unworthy to be their descendants. But we are 
concerned not so much with those exceptional cases, 
which are indeed confined to no particular district, as 
with the general standard of the race. The men of 
Cumberland and Westmoreland, and more particularly 


the natives of the mountain country — ^the "Fell-siders," 
as they are called by the other inhabitants — are 
decidedly a taller race than the rest of England. " In 
England to this day," observes Sir E. B. Lytton in his 
romance of Harold, " the descendants of the ••Ajiglo- 
Danes in Cumberland and Yorkshire are taller and 
bonier than those of the Anglo-Saxons as in Surrey 
and Sussex." But there is some difference between 
the natives of Cumberland and those of Yorkshire — 
the former, though equally firmly knit, being of a less 
buriy build than the inhabitants of the more purely 
Danish district, and in that respect more nearly re- 
sembling the Norwegians. As the people of Norway 
are remarkable for the lightness of the hair, particularly 
in childhood, so I think that any one who has travelled 
much in Cumberland could scarcely fail to be struck 
with the groups of 'white-headed children which every- 
where meet him in the villages, particularly among 
the mountains. Upon the whole, though the general 
resemblance of the Teutonic race does not render any of 
the minuter shades of difference so readily perceptible, 
it seems to me, so far as I am qualified to judge, that 
there is a certain distinguishable resemblance between 
the peasantry of Norway and that of our mountain 

Sir E. B. Lytton, to whom is due the credit of being 
one of the first to awaken the English mind to a juster 
sense of the Scandinavian immigration, has pointed 
out some of the characteristics which still distinguish 
the people of the districts settled by the Northmen. 
Of these the principal are a strong feeling of indepen- 
dence, and a large share of liatui-al shrewdness, or what 
is commonly called " mother wit*' " It is remarkable," 


31^ tz. ^aJ^ , 4^ ^^ d l^ck. 


writes Sir Edward, "that the modem inhabitants of 
those portions of the kingdom originally peopled by 
the Danes, are, irrespectively of mere party divisions, 
noted for their intolerance of all oppression, and their 
resolute independence of character, to wit, Yorkshire, 
Norfolk, Cumberland, and large districts in the Scottish 

There can be no doubt that it is to the existence of a 
very numerous class of small freeholders, called, locally, 
" statesmen," that this spirit of independence is mainly 
indebted. Whether the original Northern settlers 
were generally freeholders in the present sense of the 
term may be a question, but there is every reason to 
believe that the colonization of this country was of a 
less aristocratic character than that of Iceland. For, 
as Mallet observes, "expeditions to Iceland were 
attended with considerable expense, for the emigrants 
had to take everything with them — ^provisions, winter 
stores, live stock, and even the timber for the con- 
struction of their dwellings. They were therefore 
generally fitted out by the pontiff chieftains." That 
some of the settlers in this district were of this class 
of pontiff chieftains or Godar, who took possession of 
a district, and divided it among their followers, I have 
had occasion in a previous chapter to point out. But 
it is probable that the majority of the settlers were of 
a smaller class of free proprietors, corresponding to the 
Odalsmen of Norway. This word is defined by Hal- 
dorsen as meaning strictly an original proprietor. It ' 
is possible that the term " dalesmen" still in use in the 
mountain district may be derived from, or connected iv 
with, this word. It has, however, been derived from 
Old Norse deila, Ang.-Sax. dcdan, "to divide," a sense 
indeed akin to that given by Haldorsen. * 



The present state of Norway, where the greater 
part of the soil is in the hands of smaU proprietors, 
owning farms of 200 to 300 acres, resembles very much 
that of Cumberland, both in regard to the distribution 
of the land and to the independent spirit which it en- 
genders. In Cumberland, as in Norway, this is offcen 
combined with a coldness and reserve of manner, which, 
by those accustomed to the peasantry of the south, is 
apt to be mistaken for churlishness. 

Another quality which is an unmistakeable charac- 
teristic of the inhabitants of the Scandinavian part of 
England is caution and shrewdness. The Scotchman 
gives himself his own character in the expression 
" canny Scot." This word " canny" is a most elastic 
one : Jamieson gives no fewer that eighteen different 
meanings to it, aU of course implying something favour- 
able. In Cumberland, too, it is used in a variety of 
senses, from "a canny lass" to "a canny wet day." 
But the original signification of the word, which he 
derives from the Old Norse Maen, appears to be 
" astute, knowing," and its application by the Scotch 
to denote all sorts of other good qualities, shows the 
value they set upon this, just as the use of the term 
" brave," by the French, to denote a good fellow, proves 
the estimation in which they hold that quality. The 
Yorkshireman, too, gives himself his own character, 
when, in answer to any attempt to circumvent him, 
he replies, with a knowing shake of the head, " I'se 
Yorkshire too." And so too in Cumberland, " We're 
too far north for that," expresses the consciousness of 
the possession of a larger share of shrewdness than our a^ jJfA 
countryraen of the south. ' -^ 

There are some other qualities which the men of 



Cumberland and Westmoreland share to a certain 
^ extent with their neighbours across the border. The 

Scotch are remarkable for combining with an intense 
love for their native land a very gi-eat readiness to get 
away from it. In every part of the world you find a 
Scotchman, and wherever you find him he is a Scotch- 
man still — he never loses his nationality. A strong 
feeling of patriotism is a characteristic of all the Scan- 
dinavian countries. Gamle Norge (Old Norway) is 
the burden of the national song of the Norwegians. 
" After all," replies the Icelander, when he listens to 
the stories of other more favoured countries, " After 
all, Iceland is the best land that the sun shines upon." 
And so, the bard of Cumberland, after enumerating 
the attraxjtions of other countries, winds up with the 
patriotic sentiment — 

" But canny old Cumberland caps them a' still." 
The migratory principle is perhaps not so strong in 
the North of England as it is in Scotland ; but, taking 
into account their remote situation, probably a greater 
number of the natives of Cumberland and Westmore- 
land have sought — and found — ^their fortunes in London 
and the other great centres of commerce than the 
average of other counties. 

Another characteristic of the Scandinavian character 
is litigiousness — a softened form in which the spirit of 
the old Yikings still makes itself apparent. This is a 
conspicuous feature in the present inhabitants of Nor- 
mandy, who give more employment to the lawyers 
than the people of any other part of France. And in 
greater or less degree the same remark holds good of 
the other countries peopled by the Northmen. 
J Most of the above are, however, it will be seen, 



general traits of character which distinguish the dis- 
tricts settled as well by the Danes as the Norwegians. 

In respect of diet and manner of life the people of 
Cumberland and Westmoreland share with the Scotch 
some features of resemblance to the inhabitants of 
Norway, though in this respect the extended commu- 
nication of modern times is effecting a considerable 

Until of late years the use of wheaten bread was 
almost unknown in a great part of the district, par- 
ticularly among the mountains — ^barley, rye, and oat- 
meal being the staple articles of consumption. Cakes 
made of barley, and called flat-bread, similar to the 
flad hrod of Norway, are still in general use. They 
are also known by the name of " scons," a word which 
may probably be derived from Old Norse skdn, a crust. 
The mountain cheese, called " whillimer," so uninviting 
that its name has been facetiously derived from the 
query *' wha'll hae mair T and so tough that the Cum- 
berland rustics are said sometimes to shoe their clogs 
with its rind instead of iron, is another instance of that 
hard fare in which our district approached the still 
sterner mountain diet of Norway. As in the latter 
country and in Iceland, oatmeal porridge is still an 
article of very general consumption, and this, though 
it has been irreverently compared by Mr. Dickens in 
appearance to " diluted pincushions without the 
covers," and in use to the earth with which the savage 
distends his stomach, " lest he should be inconveniently 
hungry when there is nothing to eat," is both whole- 
some and nourishing for all that. The editor of 
Murray's Hand-book refers to the " careful prepara- 
tion" of the Norwegian grody and so, too, the con- 



coction of porridge is esteemed an art not lightly to be 
attained by a Southern cook, and a true Cumberland 
housewife would scorn the undirected attempts of a 
^ In respect to their amusements, the men of Cinnber- 
land and Westmoreland bear some resemblance to the 
old Icelanders — their favourite diversion being wrest- 
ling, in which they bear away the palm from the rest 
of England. The word, as they pronounce it, " russle,'* 
comes nearest to the Old Norse rusla, the Ang.-Sax. 
being wroestlian. A relic of the old sword-dance is still 
to be found at some of their meny-makings, and used 
to be more particularly common at the season of 
Christmas. Among the sports of children is one which 
deserves mention, as being of ancient, and, perhaps, 
from the terms made use of in it, of Scandinavian 
origin. It commences by a single boy, who, starting 
from an appointed place, called his " den," pursues his 
playfellows with clasped hands until he has succeeded 
in touching or " tigging" one of them. The two again 
retreat to their den, whence, having given due warning, 
/ ' H'\^\^ ^^ *hey again start with joined hands till they succeed in 
^ i ' catching another, who joins them in like manner. 

Thus the chain becomes gradually longer, whilje the 
number of those at Kberty is continually diminishing. 
But as the chain becomes more extended it becomes also 
more unwieldy, and the tactics of the pursued are now 
not only to escape from it by flight, but, as opportunity 
offers, to rush in upon and break through it, in which 
case all those composing it are compelled to make a 
precipitate retreat to their den, pursued by the others, 
who lay upon them with knotted handkerchiefs. This 
game appears, in its origin, to be one of mimic war, 


closely resembling a body of regular troops pursuing '-^ 
through their retreats a band of flying robbers, or 
patriots, as the case may be. Some of the terms made 
use of in it appear to be of Scandinavian origin, thus 
the chain is called the " widdy," which appears to be 
the CMd Norse vidia, a chain, and the act of touching 
a boy to make him prisoner is called " tigging," Old 
Norse tegia, to touch lightly. 



It might be expected that the dialect of all those 
counties which formed the ancient Denelaga would 
preserve a marked resemblance to each other, and would 
all retain considerable traces of the language of their 
original settlers. The difference between the northern 
and southern dialects is remarked by Higden,* who, 
writing about 1350, observes — "The whole speech of 
the Northumbrians, especially in Yorkshire, is so harsh 
and rude that we Southern men can scarcely under- 
stand it." And Wallingford, who wrote some time 
before, observes, in reference to Yorkshire, that " there 
is, and long has been, a great admixture of people of 
Danish race in that province, and a great similarity of 
language." Mr. Halliwell, in his dictionary of archaic 
and provincial words, remarks, " there seem to be few 
ti'aces of Danish in the modem Yorkshire dialect." An 
examination, however, of some of the provincial glos- 
saries of the county, and in particular that by Mr. 
Carr, of the dialect of Graven, which is one of those 4 
parts of Yorkshire where the language is ret^ned in 
its greatest purity, shows not only considerable traces \ 
of Scandinavian dialects, but also a much closer resem- 
blance to the dialect of Cumberland and Westmoi-eland, 
as also to the language of the Lowland Scotch, than is 

* Polychronicon. 


to be fonnd in the Yorkshire dialect generally. I^or- 
thumberland also, though differing widely in its pro- 
nunciation, which is distinguished by a strong and 
very peculiar burr, cwncides very closely in its 
vocabulary with the counties above-mentioned. The 
same peculiar burr is found in some part of the north 
of Durham ; the local term for it is to " crab ;" a word 
connected apparently with the German hraheti^ to 
scratch with the nails, and sufficiently expressive of the 
guttural and grating sound which marks the Northum- 
brian speech- This peculiarity of pronunciation, 
however, it should be observed, is not universal 
throughout Northumberland. 

It would appear then probable that the dialect of all 
these northern counties has been originally, if not 
identical, yet much more uniform than it is at present, 
and that the counties situated further to the south 
have changed more than the others in proportion to 
the greater influence brought to bear upon them. The 
strong resemblance between the Craven dialect and the 
language of the Lowland Scotch has induced Mr. Carr 
to found on it a theory that the Scottish language is 
nothing more than " a corruption of that which is now 
spoken in Craven and in the northern counties oi 
England," and is in fact a dialectic branch of the 
ancient English language. It will, however, be nearer 
the mark to consider the resemblance between the 
language of Scotland and the dialects of the North of 
England to be owing in no small degree to the Scandi- 
navian element which is common to them all. It is 
no doubt the case that many words which are now 
peculiar to the North were once a part of the general 
language of England, yet the testimony of the writers 


before quoted, and others, seems to prove that the 
difference between the northern and southern dialects 
of England was always strongly marked. It must be 
observed, however, that though the greater part of 
northern English words are also Scotch, the converse 
4^ does not hold good to the same extent, the Scottish 
language having retained many words from the Celtic, 
and adopted many from the French, which are not to 
be found in the dialects of the North of England. 

A The pronunciation of Westmoreland is marked by 
a degree of uniformity which is not to be found in 
Cumberland, where it is subject to considerable varia- 
tions. Among the mountains, in the towns, along the 
sea coast, and the Scottish border, various shades of 
difference exist. Mr. Boucher observes " that in the 
mountain district it is remarkable for a peculiar quick- 
ness and sharpness, and the conversation of the people 
seems to be carried on with such an air of eagerness, 
and the long a pronounced in a manner so particularly 
liquid and thin, that were Caxton still living, he might 
still say of their dialect, that it was " harrying, ^rys- 
byting, sharpe, slyttinge, frotynge, and unschape." 

One of the features of resemblance which the dialect 
of Cumberland and Westmoreland bears to the language 
of the Scandinavian North consists in a tendency to 
harden the sounds. Thus ih is changed into d, as 
"fadder" for "father," "smiddy" for "smithy"— <7A 
and sh into ^, as " kurn " for " churn," " skiffc " for 
*' shift," « kirk" for " church." " Mask," for " mash," 
to infaae, applied to tea, is a word frequently heard 
from persons who cannot be said properly to speak the 

/ Cumberland dialect. The same peculiarity Mr. Boucher 
observes of the present inhabitants of Normandy, who 


pronounce " chien," for instance, as if it were written 
" kien." Another change is that of v into 6, as White- 
hebben for Whitehaven, and / into ^, as " Jwosep" for 
" Joseph." So in Old Norse lopt for " loft^' an upper 
room ; opt^ Mod. Danish ofte, often. 

Another peculiarity of Scandinavian origin consists 
in such words as " timmer," Suio-Goth. timmevy Ang.- 
Sax. timber, — " drucken," Old Norse druckinn, -^ng.- 
Sax. druncen. The r^ in a numerous class of words 
such as drink, think, thank, may perhaps be euphonic, 
and not radical, as it is not found in the corresponding 
words in Old Norse. 

There are two other phonetic peculiarities of the 
Cumberland and Westmoreland dialect, the one of 
which consists in a broad and lengthened pronuncia- 
tion of the medial vowel, so as in some cases almost to 
make a monosyllable into a dissyllable. Thus gy-ate 
for gate, ny-ame for name. " Lig that in a se-af ple- 
ace," a Cumberland man would say. This peculiarity 
is both Anglo-Saxon and Scandinavian, and as regards 
the latter resembles in particular, as Mr. Worsaae in- 
forms us, the dialect of the present inhabitants of Jut- 
land. The other consists in a fondness for w, as in 
"cwom" for com, "worchit" for orchard. This 
peculiarity is more especially Anglo-Saxon, and forms 
the difference between Odin and Wodin, Ulf and 
Wulf, Orme and Worm — ^the sound of w being un- 
known generally among the Scandinavian nations. 
The inhabitants of Jutland are, however, an exception, 
as they experience, according to Mr. Worsaae, none of 
the difficulty found by the rest of the Danes in the pro- 
duction of this sound. The contrary also obtains to a 
certain extent, as in "col" for wool (Old Noi-se vll) 


but this is, I think, exceptional, as far as regards Cnm- 
berland and Westmoreland, being more properly a 
Yorkshire peculiarity. 
^' The use of "thou*' and "thee** instead of "you," 
prevails generally throughout Cumberland and West- 
moreland, and obtains also in Craven, according to Mr. 
Carr. It is considered by Mr. Worsaae, who remarks 
the same peculiarity in the Orkneys, as a mark of 
Norwegian descent. 

^ Notwithstanding the prolonged sovereignty of the 
Britons in Cumberland, there are, as it seems to me, 
but few traces of Celtic in its dialect, fewer indeed 
than are observed by Mr. Gaskell in his able and in- 
teresting essay on the dialect of Lancashire. Some of 
the terms on which he remarks as Celtic are exchanged 

I with us for others more particularly Scandinavian. 
Thus for the Lancashire term " craddies," trials of 
strength and skill which boys are accustomed to set one 
another, and which he derives from the Celtic crad, 
" heat, vigour, strength," we have the word " caps,'* 
" Awl set thee thy caps.'* This is probably fix)m Old 
Norse kappy fervour, emulation, contention, whence 
kappiy a daring and valiant person. Another Lancashire 
term which he quotes is to " tackle,** to set right, to 
put in order, and which he derives from the Welsh 
taclu. The word corresponding with us is " fettle," 
derived probably from Suio-Goth. fett, handy, skilful — 
Old Norse fitla, to move the fingers lightly, the term 
being applied generally to operations requiring a little 
manual dexterity. In the Northumberland dialect we 
have "feat," neat, dexterous. The Lancashire term 
itself, however, might, as it seems to me, be equally 
well derived fi'om the Grothic as from the Celtic — ^thus 
we have the Danish tackle^ to rig a ship. 


There are several other words which our dialect has 
in common with that of Lancashire, and which he 
ascribes to a Celtic origin, but which, it seems to me, 
might be derived from the Scandinavian. Thus 
*' gam," " cam," or " cammed," wry, crooked, he refers, 
in default of finding any equivalent in the Gothic lan- 
guage, to the Welsh gamy cam^ crooked, from camUf to 
bend. But the Norse has also gdma, to bend, cognate 
no doubt with the Celtic, and from which I should be 
more inclined to derive our word. (In the Scandina- 
vian, as well as in the Celtic languages, g and k are 
frequently interchanged.) Again, " sad," heavy, thick, 
not sufficiently fluid — applied generally to a pudding 
or a paste — he derives from Welsh sad, firm. But 
the Norse has also seyddr, overdone, from seyda, to 
cook long or too much ; of which the result is of 
course to make a thing too stiff by evaporating the 
fluid. " Girdle " or " griddle," a flat iron on which 
cakes are baked, is derived from Welsh greidyl, a 
bake-stone, graidian, to heat. But the Suio-Goth. 
has also graedda, to bake, whence Jamieson and Todd 
concur in deriving our word " grid-iron." Another 
word is " oss," to offer to do, to attempt. In Mrs. 
Wheeler's Westmoreland dialogues a young woman 
who has commenced collecting a few articles of furni- 
ture in anticipation of being married describes herself 
as " ossing towards housekeeping." Here it seems to 
have the sense of preparing for or looking forward to. 
Mr. Gaskell refers it to Welsh osi, to attempt ; but 
though there be a less apparent resemblance, I think it 
may be from Norse oaka, to wish. 

Generally, it may be observed that the principle ot 
referring to the Celtic even for a word which cannot 


be found in the Gothic dialects is one which ought to 
be adopted with some resei-ve. For it often happens 
that a word is not to be found only because we do not 
know where to look for it. This applies in greater or 
less degree, according as the word in question may 
seem to partake of the general idiom of the dialect. 
A Celtic term would more naturally be retained as 
designating an external object than as conveying an 
abstract idea. Hence a word, which should take its 
place as a verb, forming its corresponding nouns, 
adjectives, or adverbs, in accordance with the niles of 
the dialect, would not, I think, in any case be likely to 
be derived from the Celtic. Other circumstances, 
moreover, should be taken into account, as for instance 
the extent to which the word is common to the north- 
ern counties, whose relations with the ancient inhabit- 
ants, and consequent opportunities of adopting their 
words, were aU more or less different. 

Of words derived from the French we have but very 
few. " Deray," the mirthful confusion of a banquet — 
in Old Eng. sometimes witten " dysray" — appears to be 
from the Fr. desroy. This word may have come to us 
from the Scotch, as it does not appear to belong to the 
northern dialects generally. " Fash," to trouble, to 
weary, seems to be from the Fr. fascher, and " fashions" 
from facheuXy facheuse. Jamieson observes, " It ap- 
pears that we have borrowed this word immediately 
from the Fr., and there is no evidence, as far as I 
have observed, that it is more ancient than the reign 
of Mary." It is difficult to conceive how a word in 
such general use throughout the northern district 
should be so introduced, and yet it does not appear 
capable of any other derivation. 


Upon the whole, the dialect of Cumberland and 
Westmoreland seems to be essentially of Dano-Saxon 
origin — there being many words derived from the 
Danish, many from the Anglo-Saxon, and a great 
number which are common to both. Like the Scotch, 
we use "fra" and "tiU" for "from" and "to," which 
may be either Anglo-Saxon or Scandinavian, but more 
probably the latter, as the former had also " from" and 
"to." "At" for "that," as in "Its time at he were 
here," Mr. Boucher and Mr. Gaskell concur in sup- 
posing to be the Danish conjunction at, which is used 
in the same sense. The former observes that its 
present use does not extend south of the Humber, and 
that most of the ancient MSS. in which it is found are 
confessedly the productions of Northern authors. It 
was also anciently used in the Old Norse sense of " to," 
as the sign of the infinitive mood. " I have noghte at 
do with thee." — MMS. Lincoln. In this se^ise I have 
never met with it in our district. " Mun" for " must," 
common to the Scotch and all the Northern dialects 
Jamieson thinks may be the N. auxiliary verb mun. 
It is used, however, as he observes, in a more forcible 
sense than in Old Norse — " The latter respects the 
certainty of something future ; our sense denotes not 
only its fiiturition, but its necessity. 

The number of words we have signifying to beat is 
rather curious, and perhaps — as many of them are 
evidently Scandinavian — characteristic. We have 
"baist," N. 6e?/5«a— " bang," N. fta^i^o— "dang," N. 
dengia — " kaik," N. kiaka — " lam," N. lemia — " nail," 
N. hnalla — " pake," N. piaka — "yark," N. hiacka or 
jacka, (pronounced yacka.) " Slaister," to beat vio- 
lently, may be from N. slasa, to kill — " cluff," from N. 


Idauff tlie closed hand — and " peg," to beat with the 
sharp knuckles, from Dan. pig^ a point, of which the 
origin is N. piaka as above. " Clink," a blow, seems 
to be from Suio-Goth. klinka to sound, and to denote a 
ringing slap — " bat," a stroke or blow, from Ang.-Sax. 
hat a club, or from N. hidt a violent movement — and 
" dub" a blow, from N. dubhay Ang.-Sax. dvhhan to 
beat, " Pean" may be either from N. piria or Ang.- 
Sax. pinan, to punish — " break" from N. brdka, or 
Ang.-Sax. bracan, to subdue, to crush, a sense common 
in early English. " Leather," a term common to se- 
veral dialects, (in Cumberland more commonly " led- 
der,") may be from Ang.-Sax. lether, Dan. loedder the 
skin — the expressive meaning being to flay — an hyper- 
bole of anger, most of these terms being used as threats. 
Or it may be derived merely from the leathern strap 
with which punishment is sometimes inflicted. This 
instrument, well known to schoolboys, is called in 
the North "the taws," Ang.-Sax. tawian to beat. 
" Hide " and " dust ' are two other terms common 
to several dialects. The former seems to have the same 
meaning as " leather," and the latter to be used in the 
metaphorical sense of beating the dust out of a thing. 
Yet both these terms are probably Scandinavian, for 
we find in Old Norse the two verbs hyda and diista — 
both, in addition to their primary meaning, having the 
signification of beating, so that the secondary meaning 
is not of modern growth. The origin of " bensil" is 
not very clear, and all the derivations I have met with 
are very unsatisfactory. As a verb it means to strike 
or beat, and as a noun it both means a blow and also 
a sudden bang. Brockett derives it from Teut. 
henghden, to beat ; and Stevenson, one of the editoi-s 


of Boucher, thinks that it may be a corruption of 
bent-aaU, expressing originally, " rapidity of motion 
towards an object." It might possibly be from N. 
bein, S. G. ben, a bone, and sUa, to plough or cut into 
— " to cut to the bone," referring to the ferocious 
practice of the Northmen of carving the blood-eagle 
upon the back. But I think the manner of its use 
scarcely warrants such a derivation. Halliwell gives 
^* hansel" as a Staffordshire word, and this suggests the 
A. S. bdnsele, the bone-hall or dwelling, the body, of 
which " bensil" would be rather a Scandinavian form. 
This appears upon the whole to be the most probable 
derivation — ^bensil being used in the same sense as to 
" brain" signifies to dash out the brains. " Molly- 
crush," to beat severely, seems to be from N. Tnola, to 
break into pieces. Hence, probably, also "maul" 
another word signifying to beat severely, but this is 
common to several dialects. " Peel" appears to have 
the same meaning as " maul" — A. S. pilan, to bray, 
to pound. "Cob" Mr. Gaskell derives from Welsh 
cohiawy to beat, which, however, I am inclined to con- 
sider as only cognate. In the phrase " that cobs aw" — 
" that beats everything," it seems to me to be from the 
A. S., coppf the head, the top, and to be equivalent to 
" that tops all," or the Cumberland, " that caps aw." 
StiU more evidently in the Craven " cob," a chief, 
conqueror, " He's cob o' them aw" — " he's head of them 
all." I take, then, the original meaning of "cob," as 
a verb, to beat another in a fight. Hence is formed 
"cobby," stout, hearty, common to most of the 
northern counties. Altogether, the word, which is 
found as a noun, adjective, and verb, seems to me to 
be too idiomatic to be of Celtic origin. 



Many of the above terms signifying to beat are, it 
will be observed, common to several dialects, and some 
others, evidently of Scandinavian origin, are to be 
found in other dialects. Thus Exmoor has "bank," 
Dan. hanke, to beat, and the Eastern counties " bask- 
ing" a sound thrashing, Dan. haske to beat. It may be 
a question also whether " belabour " is not derived 
from N. luberia to beat. The Northmen appear to 
have had a copious vocabulary of such words, and in 
the number which we still retain may perhaps be found 
a characteristic record of those fierce invaders. 

From them too we seem to have derived a number 
of words referring merely to verbal altercation, and of 
which the true origin appears to have been overlooked 
by all our lexicographers. Thus " carp," to cavil, has 
been referred to an indirect sense of the Lat. carpere^ 
but is much more naturally derived from the N. karpa, 
which had precisely the same meaning. "Scoff** is 
referred to the Gr. o-KWTrTO) — Richardson remarking 
that no analogous word is found in any of the Teutonic 
languages. The N. supplies the link that is wanting, 
skop, scoffing, skopaz at, to scoff at, which is no doubt 
the origin of our word. " Chaff," to banter, has been 
supposed to be an oblique sense of " chafe" to warm. 
But the N. has kd/a, ludicre insultare, Mf, insultus 
ludicrus, kdfaz uppd, jocose irritare — our expression 
" to chaff up." " Brass," impudence, has been uni- 
versally supposed to be a metaphorical sense derived 
from the metal. Yet in N. we find the very word 
brass, impudence, from the verb hrasta, to live in a 
dissolute manner. "Bully" is a word much in want 
of an etymon. Todd and Richardson derive it from 
the Pope's bull — Webster, with more judgment, from 


A. S. hytlgian, to bellow. The last-named also adduces 
Swed. Indhrj a tumult — a clue which, if he had fol- 
lowed it up, would have led him to what I conceive 
to be the origin. The N. hutdra signifies to roar, 
brawl, rage, whence Dan. huldrer, a bully, and Swed. 
huLlery a tumult — the former derivative retaining the 
sense, and the latter more of the form of our word. 

From them also we have, as might naturally be 
expected, derived several terms relating to warfare, to 
two only of which I shall refer, as not having been 
properly explained by our lexicographers. The blade 
of a sword has been supposed to be so called from its 
resemblance in form to a blade of grass. But the Old 
Norse has hlad in the sense in question, and we can 
scarcely have a more satisfactory etymon for it than 
the verb hlmday to shed blood. " Buckler" has been 
derived from the Fr. botcclier, but it seems to me that 
both the English and French words have come from 
the N. hvMari. And the etymon in this case also 
seems to be clear — hukr, the trunk or middle part of 
the body, that protected by the buckler — ^and hlyri, the 
top of a ship's prow, which consisted of a triangular 
piece of wood like a shield, the purpose of which it was 
most probably intended to serve, in warding off the 
darts of the enemy. 

The importance of a subject such as that of the 
derivation of the English language must be my excuse 
in pursuing a little fui-ther an enquiry not directly 
within the scope of my present undertaking — my object \^ 
being to shew that, generally, the Scandinavian element 
in our language has not been properly represented. 
Does it not seem a gi-eat anomaly to refer to dialects 


y which are merely cognate, as the German and the 
Dutch, and to ignore the language of a people who 
actually colonized a considerable portion of England, 
and for many a century wrestled with the Saxon for 

I the dominion of the whole 1 Yet this is what has been 

done to a considerable extent by some even of the best 
of our lexicographers. Todd's edition of Johnson is 
certainly the least open to this reproach, yet even this 
"^4^3 — learned and valuable work does by no means complete 
justice to the Scandinavian element in our language. 
To enter into the subject generally would form a 
separate undertaking, and I will therefore merely draw 
attention to one or two examples from a particular 
class — ^that of words ordinarily derived from the French, 
but which in my opinion have been received by both 
the two nations from their Scandinavian invaders. 
" Peruke" has been derived by Johnson from the Fr. 
ferruque^ and this etymology has not been superseded, 
nor I think questioned. But as we find in Old Norse 
parruk, a wig, and as it appears to have a very clear 
etymon in the same language — para, to join, to put 
together, and reik, human hair — it may fairly be pre- 
sumed to be the origin of both. Yet Richardson, 
after observing that no sufficient et3rmon from the 
Latin has been suggested, adds, " The attempts to 
trace it to a Northern origin are equally unsatisfactory." 
In the Landnamabok a Northman is mentioned, named 
Hndir Parak, deriving his surname very probably from 
the false hair which he wore. 

" Brush," used in two senses, as brush for the hair, 
and " brush," small trees or shmbs, has been referred 
to the Fr. brosse, which has also the two senses of a 


brush and a bush. But the N. has hrHskry another 
form of buskr, both words having the two senses in 
question. From hUskr comes no doubt our word " bush," 
and probably the Sco. "busk" — (see "buss," in follow- 
ing list). From bruskr comes our word " brush," and 
probably, though in this case not so certainly, the Fr. 
brosse. So that, instead of our word being derived 
from the French, it preserves more closely its original 
form. Our word " brisk," the Fr. brusque, and the 
Old Eng. "brusk," (same meaning as the Fr.) all seem 
to be derived in a sort of metaphorical sense, from 
bruskr, a brush. Several other words implying liveli- 
ness or smai*tness have their origin in brushing, curling, 
or combing the hair, (see " crouse," in following list.) 

I will conclude with a single example from a differ- 
ent class, and one which is in striking contrast with 
most of the terms to which I have referred as borrowed 
from the Northmen. Who would think that when 
the fierce strangers leaped from their long ships upoit 
our shores, they brought such a drawing-room word as 
" sofa" along with them 1 How much more naturally 
would it seem, as indeed all our dictionaries agree in 
making it, to be derived from the languid Oriental ! 
Yet Richardson perceives its possible connection with 
the Swed. sofwa, to sleep. If, instead of a modem 
dialect, he had, more correctly, referred to the ancient 
language of the North, he would have found the N. 
sofa, a sleeping place, from the verb sofa, to sleep, 
which seems, pretty certainly, to be the origin of our 
word. The Persian sofat is no doubt cognate — the 
ancient language of Persia might probably furnish the 
roots of both. But even the latest editions of our best 


dictionaries take no note of the great discoveries of wrr 
own time, and thei-e is none which represents — or at- 
tempts to represent — ^the present state of Enropean 

Returning to the dialect of Cumberland and West^ 
moreland, I propose, as it is a very important branch 
of the enquiry to ascertain what remains of Northern 
languages are to be found in the living tongue of the 
people, to give a list, first of words which I conceive to 
be of Scandinavian origin; and secondly, of words 
which may be either Anglo-Saxon or Scandinavian. 
Neither of these lists can be considered as anything 
but very imperfect, no complete glossary of the Cum- 
berland and Westmoreland dialect having as yet been 
compiled. The greatest number of words, both of 
these two counties and of Northumberland, is to be 
found in Mr. Halliweirs " dictionary of archaic and 
provincial ^vords," in which he has laid all previous 
glossaries under contribution, and supplied many words 
from private sources. But a number of words which 
are common to all three counties, are here given as 
only Northumbrian. From this valuable work are 
taken all the words marked as Westmoreland in the 
following lists, many of which are among the more 
uncommon words of the dialect. Most of them are, 
however, no doubt common to Cumberland. 

In order to show the connection between the dialects 
of the North, I note the woi-ds which are also to be 
found in the Northumberland, the Ci*aven, and the 
Scotch. The last are of course taken from the great 
work of Dr. Jamison — a work the value of which 
those only who have had occasion to go over the same 
ground can be able fully to estimate. 


(N. Old Norse. D. Banish. S.-G. Suio-Oothic. A. S. Anglo-Saxon.) 
Aandorn or Orndorn. An afternoon repast. Also 
simply the afternoon. T>. onden, dinner, used 
in Jutland and Fiinen. The D. anden, second, 
may perhaps give the origin of it — the second 
meal in the day, or the second part of the day, 
i. e.f the afternoon. 
AcK. To heed, regard. N". akta, to make account of. 
Generally used in the imperative — " never ack," 
never mind. 

" Neer ack — there's nae hard laws in England 
Except this bit thing about game." 

Miss Blamire. 
May not this be the prefix in " acknowledge T 
The hybrid derivation from Lat. agnosco, and Eng. 
" knowledge" can only be suggested by Mr. Todd 
for want of a better. 


A.CKER. To curl or ripple, as water in a breeze. N. 
aka, to agitate. 

Crav. acker, a ripple. 

Amell. Between. N. djnUli, D. imellem. The 
" mell-door" or " amell-door" in a Cumberland 
farm-house is the space or passage between the 
inner and outer doors. As before mentioned, 
" mell," in the senBe of a boundary, enters very 
frequently into the names of places. 


. Abd, Aibd. Dry, parched, arid, applied to the quality 

'^ of a soil. Mr. Boucher derives it from Celt, ardh^ 

high, of which he makes it a secondary sense — 

such lands being dry and parched because they lie 



high. But I think it may be from N. oreyddrj 
empty, exhausted. In the sense of " high" I do 
not find it in our dialect, or in our names of 
places. In the instances which he quotes where 
" aird" is used substantively in names of places as 
in Aird- Patrick, it may be more probably from 
jordy a property or estate. 

Arles-penny or Earles-penny. Earnest money for 
work to be performed ; the money advanced to 
farm-servants when they are hired. Jamieson 
has given a learned dissertation upon this word, 
but seems to have missed the most natural deri- 
vation of it, N. erlaj to work continuously or un- 
interruptedly. Hence " earles-penny" would be 
earnest money for continuous work or a regular 
engagement — the term of hiring in Cumberland 
and Westmoreland being six months. This seems 
to be the meaning with us — Jamieson gives it the 
wider sense of " an earnest, of whatever kind." — 

North. Crav. Sco. 

Arr. The mark of a wound, a scar. D. or. 

North. Crav. 
y Arvel. a funeral. Its literal meaning seems to be 
^ the ale distributed at a funeral, as that of " bridal" 

is the ale distributed at a wedding. Arvel-bread 
is a sort of cake given at the funerals of the poor 
in the North of England. D. Arveol, a feast 
held in honour of a deceased chief, at which the 
succession was declared — from N. arji, an heir, 
and ol, ale. 

JNor^ Crav. J^co. 



Awns. In the south of Cumberland and in "West- 
moreland pronounced Angs — the beards of wheat 
or barley. N. ogn (plural agnir), D. avn, 
S.-G. agn. " Angs" is not, as Mr. HaUiwell 
seems to think, a corruption of "awns," but is 
rather, in fact, the older word — ^both the Cumber- 
land " awn" and Dan. avn being softened forms 
of the original. 

North. Crav. Sco. 
Axle-Tooth. A grinder. N. jaoda. 

North. Crav. 
Bain. Near, direct, convenient, applied generally to 
a road — " a bainer way" — a more direct road. 
N. beinn, direct, Dan. bane, a beaten path, ba/ne, 
V. to make passable, to pave the way. In Scot- 
land this word has the more general sense of 
"ready, prepared, alert, active." 

North. Crav. 
Barked. Incrusted with dirt, applied generally to 
the skin. N. barka, cutem induere. 

North. Cra/v. 
Bask. Sharp, acid. N. beiskr. 

Batten. To thrive, applied generally to children. 
N. batna. 

Beaker. A flagon or drinking-cup. N. hikar. In 
the following passage it seems to be used as a 
verb : — 

" Wi' merry lilts the fiddles chaug, 
The lads and lasses bicker, 
The drink o' acid tastes sae Strang, 
'Twad mek an auld naig nicker." 

Boaley Fair, by Stagg. 



Although it is evidently used here in a sense 
quite the rei'^erse of quarrelling, yet it strikes me 
as not improbable that it may be the origin of 
our word "bicker," from the petty squabbles 
continually occurring among men over their cups. 

Beel. To beUow. N. hdia. 

North. Crav. 

Berry. To thrash corn. N. beria, to beat. 

Birr, Burr A rapid, whirling motion, as that of a 
bird through the air. Any quick and sudden 
movement, as a spring or leap. Probably from 
N. Mr, a breeze. 

North. Sco. 

Blained. Half dry, generally applied to linen hung 
out to dry. D. hlegne, to whiten. Both North. 
and Crav. have "blain" in its original sense, to 
" whiten ;" the latter also in the same sense as 
ours, which is no doubt a corrupted one. 

Blanker. A spark of fire. N. hlanka^ to sparkle, 
whence hlanhr, white, the probable origin of our 
word "blank." 

Blate. Bashful. N. hlaudr^ timid, effeminate, hleydi, 

North. Sco. 

Blather, Bladder. To prate. S.-G. hladdra. 

North. Sco. 
Bolder. A loud report. D. hvlder, noise, brawl, 

Sco. " buller," a loud i-oar. 



BoLK The trunk of a tree. N. hdr.^ S.-G. hd. 

North. Crav. 
Boulders, Booders, or Boulder-stones. Large stones 
rounded by the action of water or other cause. 
D. hold, a ball, holder, balls. 

North. Crav. 

Brandling. A sort of small trout. N. bi'anday trutta 

Brandly. Fiercely. Ttdlies Siege of Carlide. N. 

hrana, audacter mere. 

Bblaid. To resemble — generally applied to persons, 
and used to denote similarity of disposition. 
Jamieson traces it to N. hregda, " denoting the 
resemblance of children in disposition to their 
progenitors." Ihre gives Bregdur ha/rni til aettar 
— " children take after their parents." Or, as we 
should say, in language nearer the original, "Bairns 
braid o' their fore-elders." 

North, Crav. Sco. 

'Brant. Steep. N. hrattr, S.-G. hrani. 

North. Crav. 
Bumble-bee or Bummle-bee. The humble bee. N. 

humlaj to buzz. In Old Eng. " bumble" signified 

to drone or hum. 

" And as a bitore 

Chaucer, W., of Bath. 

North, Gram, (Sco. *< bum-bee,") 

Bun, Boun. E«ady, prepared, addressed to, bound 

for. N. buinn, ready, prepared. 

North, Crav. Sco, 

lumbleth in the mere.'* y 



BuRE. I do not find this word in any glossary. It 
occurs in Stagg's Rosley Fair in the sense of a 
country woman. 

— " a hure, her name was Meg, 
A winsome, weel-fared body." 

It is, I apprehend, the same as our word " boor," 
and is from N. hurif a rustic — from 6w, the 

Buss. To dress, to make ready ; also to kiss. I take 
this word to be the same as the Sco. "bxisk," 
to dress, to adorn, of which Jamieson has rather 
unaccountably overlooked what seems to me the 
most natural etymon — N. buska, to brush. We 
use the expression " brush up " in a similar sense 
— ^that of making tidy or smart. And " busk," 
" buss," seems to be generally applied to dressing 
up for a particular occasion. " Buss," to kiss, 
may perhaps be from the same origin. For 
though " brushing " seems a low sense of " kiss- 
ing," yet in the hirsute days of old it might be 
sufficiently expressive. 


Cade-lamb. A pet lamb. The writer in the Kendal 
Mercury derives this from D. kaad, sportive, 
wanton. But perhaps N. Md, an animal newly 
bom, is the more appropriate. 

North. Crav. 

Caleever. To make a riot. As a noun, it means 
obstreperous conduct. N. gidli/i, light-headed- 
ness, dissoluteness ; gidlfra, to make a riot. 
Halliwell gives "gilliver," a wanton wench, as 



North. This shows the origin of the word more 
clearly than ours. 

Chaft. The jaw. N. kiaftr. 

North. Cra/v. Soo. 

Clam, To starve. N. Memma, to pinch, to squeeze. 

North. Crav. 

Clart. To daub, besmear. Clarty, dirty, miry. 
Jamieson derives this word from S.-G. lort, filth. 
I think, however, that the root both of this and 
some other north-country words of the same 
meaning, as " lair," " glair," " slairy," is to be 
found in N. leir, mud, mire, to which have 
accrued the various particles g, k, and s. 
" Clarty " always implies the idea of " wet dii-t." 

North. Crav. Sco. 

Clat. Cow-dung. N. klatr, rejectanea. 

Clayer. To climb. D. klavre. 

Cluye. a hoof. N. Mauff J). Eov. 



CoLLOPS. Lumps or slices of meat. Also used in the 
singular for meat in general. A Cumberland 
farmer, dining with his landlord, replied, on being 
invited by the lady of the house to take some 
pudding, " Na, na — aw'd titter ha' collop than 
pudding any day — mess wad aw ! " that is — " I 
would rather have meat than pudding any day — 
truly (by the mass) would I." S.-G. koUopSy 

lumps of meat. 

North. Crav. 



Coup. To exclianga N, kaupa^ to traffic. 

North. Crav. 
Crar a mixture of cheese, vinegar, and mustard. — \ \J 

N. krahha, to mix. 

Cream. To squeeze or press. — Westm. Crim. A 
small portion of anything. — Westm. N. kremia, 
to squeeze, to break, whence krom, pressure, and 
kremmingry a handful. 

Creel. A basket of wicker work. N. krila, to plait, 
to weave together. 

North. Crav. Sco. 

Crouse, Cruse. Forward, confident — or better ex- 
pressed by Mr. Halliwell as " bumptious." Jamie- 
son suggests D. kruus, crisp, curled, which seems 
a probable derivation — many words of similar 
meaning appearing to have a like origin. Thus 
from A. S. cirpian, to curl, to crisp, may be de- 
rived " chirp," to be lively and in good spirits. 
While from N. bruskr, a brush, comes probably 
"brisk," Old Eng. "brusk," and Fr. brusque. 
We have also another dialectic word which seems 
to be of similar origin. See Swap. 

North. Crav. Sco. 

Cutter. To converse in a low tone, to whisper to- 
gether apart. 

" I' th' pantry tlie sweethearters cnttered sae soft." 

Bleckell Murry-neet. 

N. Kytraj to lie hid in a corner. Or, S.-G. hutra^ 
to chatter. 

North. Crav. 



Daft. Crazy, foolish. N. daufr. 

North. Crav. Sco. 

Dakrick, Daark. a day's labour. This word has 
been generally supposed to be a contraction of 
" day's- work," but the writer in the Kendal Mer- 
cury suggests that it may be from D. dyrke, to till. 
This, however, seems rather doubtful. Such con- 
tractions are not uncommon in the dialect, and 
moreover, "darrick" is used in a very general 
sense. " Thou's meade a bonny darrick" is ap- 
plied in the " Upshot" to a bungling player at 
cards. Yet " darker " or " darricker," a day- 
labourer, might seem to be naturally referred to 
D. dyrker, a cultivator of the soil. 

" The laird and darker, cheek hy chowl. 
Wad sit and crack, of auld lang syne." 

Foems hy John Stagg. 

("Of is here used for "in" — ^the allusion being 

to a supposed happy time when the " laird," or 

man of landed property, and the day-labourer met 

together as equals.) Upon the whole, it is not 

very clear to me which of the two derivations is 

the one to be adopted. 

Dakter. Active, powerful. It is also used as a noun. 
Perhaps from N. dart, quick, vehement. 

Deave. To deafen. N. deyfa. 

North. Sco. 

Deg. To sprinkle. Daggy, drizzly. N. deigr, wet, 
dogg, rain, from ddgia, to moisten. 

North. Crav. {Sco. "dag," to rain gently.) 



s^ Des. a pile or heap. N. des. 

North. Crav, 
Dill. To soothe. N. dUla. 

North. Crav. Sco. 

DouK or DooK. To bathe, to immerse in water. D. 
dukke, to dip. 

North. Crav. Sco. 

DowLY. Sorrowful, melancholy. N. ddlegr, moumfuL 

North. Crav. 

DozEND. Spiritless, feeble. N. dos, languor, dosadr, 
languid, weary, D. doesende, sleepy. 

North. Crav. (Sco. " daze," to stupify.) 

Draff. Brewers' grains. N. draf, swines' food. 
Halliwell also gives Draffit, a tub for hog's 

North. Cra/v. Sco. 

Drakes. A slop or mess. — Westm. N. dreckia, to 
plunge into water, to duck. Hence I presume 
the origin of " drake," which has not been ex- 
plained by our lexicographers. The duck and 
the drake both seem to derive their names from 
plunging or ducking under water. 

North. " drack," to saturate with water. 

Drile. To waste time. — Westm. N. drila, to delay. 

DuRGAN. A dwarf — Westm. IS", dyrgia, a dwarf 

Dust. A tumult or uproar. S.-G. dustj a tumult. 

North. Crav. Sco. 

Feek. Toiadget, l^.Jlka. 




Fest. To bind as an apprentica Festing-Penny, 

earnest-money paid to a servant on hiring. N. 
festa, to bind, to make fast. Icel. festi-peningry 

North. Crav. Sco. 
Feal. To hide or cover. N. fela. 

North. Crav. 
Fleer. To laugh mockingly, or, according to Brockett, 
" to have a countenance expressive of laughter, 
without laughing out." N. Jlyra, to smile. The 
Norse does not appear to have any sense of 
mocking or taunting, but rather of wheedling or 
coaxing, and it is most probably the origin of 
Eng. " flirt." Our sense then is an altered one, 
and the Sco. " fleyr," to distort the countenance, 
to make wry faces, still more so. 

North. Sco. 

Flipe. The rim of a hat. D. Jlip, tip, point, 


Flit. To remove from one house to another. S.-G. 
flytta^ D. flytter. The noun flet^ a house or 
dwelling, common to the Ang.-Sax. and Scand. 
languages, seems to be the origin of the verb. 

North. Crav. Sco. 
FouT. Foolish. Also, aa a noun, a spoilt child. N. 
fautiy a simpleton. 

North. Gram. 

Galt, Gaut. a boar pig. N. gaUi. 

North. Cra/o. Sco. 

Gar. To cause, force, compel. N. giora. A certain 




Earl of Lonsdale, as the story goes, having laid a 
wager with a friend as to which of them should 
compose the best specimen of Cumberland, pro- 
duced the following, and won his wager. " What 
ga/r'd the gawrment gang into't garth, and jarble 
a' hissel ?" " "What made the fool go into the 
field and^bemire all himself?" 

North. Crav.'Sco. 

Garrick- An awkward person. N. gdra, to make 
game of. An odd derivation for the name of the 
great actor ! 
Gawm. Attention. Gawmin. Ignorant, thoughtless. 
N. gauntry attention — gefa gaum at, to pay atten- 
tion to. We have just the same phrase — to " give 
gawm to." " Gawmin" seems to be formed from 
gawm, and N. Tninnr, less ; hence it is the same 
as Crav. gaumless. From " gawm" is also pro- 
bably formed gumption, or gamm-tion, under- 
standing, judgment — common to several dialects. 

North. Crav. 
^y" Ged. a pike or jack. N. gedda. 

North. Sco. 

Gilder. A snare. N. gildra. 


GiMMER. A ewe. Gimmer-Lamb. A ewe lamb. N. 

gimbra, a ewe. J), gimmer-lam, a ewe lamb. 

North. Cra/v. Sco. 
Glair. Mire. Probably formed from N. leir, mire, 

by the addition of g. So the N. has glikr and 

likry like. S, g, and k are all common prefixes. 

See clarty. 



>^ Glat. a gap in a hedge. — Westm. N. glatTf damage, 

Glender. To stare. N. glenna, distendere, in the 
sense of stretching the eyes. 

Gloar, Glower. To stare intently. N. glora, to 
shine. Haldorsen gives glorir i kattar augun, 
" the cat's eyes shine," which seems to have some- 
thing of the sense of our word. I apprehend that 
its origin is to be found in the fierce and glowing 
look of hostility. 

North. Crav. Sco. 

Gloppen. To be astonished, startled, or frightened. 
N. glupna, to despond, to lose courage. In early 
writers, Mr. HaUiwell observes, " gloppen" some- 
times means to lament or mourn. 

North. Crav. Sco. 
^ Gob. The mouth. N, gopi^ D. gah, an opening, 
Hence Gope, to talk vulgarly and loud. — Cumh. 

North. Crav. Sco. 
y^ GowK. The cuckoo; also a simpleton. N. gauhr, 
used in both the above senses. 

North. Crav. Sco. 

GowL. To weep or sob. N. gamlay to roar or beUow. 
" Gowl" signifies more properly a noisy lamenta- 
tion — " greet," a " quiet cry." 

North. Sco. 

Gowpen. a handful. N. gcmpn, the hollow of the 

North. CroAj. Sco. 

Gripe, Grape. A dung-fork. S.-G. grepe. 

North. Crav. 



Gruby. Dirty. N. gruhb, dregs. 
^x^ Gryke. a chink, a crevice. N. krykif a comer, recess. 

Guff. A fool. N. gu/a, a vapour, whence metaph. 
a light and empty person. 


GuLDER. To talk loudly, and with a dissonant voice. 

N. gi/M, OS inflatum. 
Hack. A pick-axe. Dan. hakke. 

North. Crav. Sco. 

Hack. To win everything. Perhaps allied to N. 

haki, end, extremity of a thing. 
Ham-sam. Promiscuously. The former syllable may 
be from N. heimr, an assembly or gathering ; the 
latter is evidently the Gothic particle sa/niy de- 
noting concourse or conjunction, and forming a 
variety of compounds, particularly in the Scandi- 
navian languages. 

" But weddit fwoke rare laughin bed 

r th' bower wd' yen anither, 
For five or six gat into t' bed, 
And sat ham-sam togitber." 

Upshot, by Mark Lonsdale, 

y Hank. To fasten. N. hanka. 

North. Crav. Sco. 

Harns. Brains. N. hiarni. 

North. Crav. Sco. 

Harp. To harp on a thing is to revert to it again and 

again ; it is generally applied to some unpleasant 

subject which ought to be allowed to drop. N. 

harpa at, redarguere. 




Haver. To babble, to prate. N. MvoTy garrulous. 

y^ Heck. A hay-rack. D. fiekke. 

North. Crav. Sco. 

L^ Helle. To pour rapidly. N. heUa. 

Crav. Sco. 

HoAST. The curd for cheese before it is taken from 
the whey. N. ostr, cheese. Our word appears to 
show more clearly the origin of the Norse — hossa, 
to shake ; hoss, a gentle shaking. 

How. An exclamation used in driving cattle. It is 
also sometimes used as a verb, applied to urging 
cattle by voice and gesture into a field or other 
place. The N. has h6j a cry of the shepherds, 
and hoa, conclamare greges, which may possibly 
be the origin of our word. 

Howdy. A midwife. This unfortunate word has been 
made the subject of etymological vagaries, among 
which that quoted by Mr. Halliwell from " Jesus 
hodie natus est de virgine " is certainly entitled to 
the pre-eminence which he claims for it. Not 
very many degrees better is that from " How do 
ye ? " a presumed salutation from the nurae to the 
sick woman, and which Brockett, with less than 
his usual judgment, defends from the sarcasm of 
Brande. Mr. Brande, however, has not been very 
successful in suggesting a better ; his derivation is 
from the " how," a membrane on the head, with 
which some children are bom, and which is 
esteemed highly lucky among the vulgar. Jamie- 
son's derivation from N. iod, childbirth, is no 



doubt the correct one. The Sco. has the verb to 
" howd," from which the noun is formed. 

North. Crav. Sco. 
^^ HowK. To excavate, scoop out. S.-G. holka. 

III. Used as an adjective. 

" The ladle she brake o'er ill Bell." 

Codbeck Wedding. 
N, Ulr, wicked. 

^ Ingle or Engle. Generally explained as "fire, 
flame," but in Cumberland usually applied to a 
faggot or bundle of fire- wood. I rather incline to 
think that this is the original meaning, and that 
the ingle is properly not the fire itself, but the 
fuel. It may be from N. engia, to press together, 
as sticks in a bundle. 

North. Sco. 

Kale. Cabbage, whence broth, in which greens are 
the principal ingredient. N. kal, D. kaal. 

North. Crav. Sco. 

Keave. To plunge, to struggle. N. heyfa, to strug- 
gle against a snow-storm. 

Keek. To peep. S.-G. Kika^ D. Tdge. 

North. Sco. 

Kerf. A layer of hay or turf — Westm. N. herfiy a 
little bundle. 

Kett. Rubbish. N. Tikt, dead flesh. In Crav. and 
Sco. " kett " means carrion. In North, it is ex- 
plained " carrion — any sort of filth." The succes- 
sive steps are evident by which the word has been 



Kick. The top of the fashion. The origin of this 
word has escaped all our etymologists. Brockett 
suggests N. kcekr, gestus indecorus, which I hope 
he does not mean to say is the fashion in the 
North. Even Jamieson has nothing better to 
offer than N. kiackr^ audax. It is evidently de- 
rived from N. skickf D. skik, custom, fashion — S.- 
G. skickj elegantia morum. I have already ob- 
served on the frequency with which the prefix s is 
asumed in Norse, or dropped in English. Hence 
probably the origin of kickshaw, the derivation of 
which from Fr. qudque chose, is, to say the least, 
unmeaning, and that from " kick shoes " absurd. 
The latter syllable might be N. skd, optima pars 

North. Grav. Sco. 

Kink. To laugh loudly. N. kianka. 

Kite. The beUy. N. kmdr. 

North. Sco. 
Kjtap. To speak mincingly, to clip the words. N. 
kvmppr, D. knap, close, tight, constrained. 

Keull, Crewel. Embroidery. The word is now 
generally confined to a hand-ball covered with 
worsted-work. It is evidently derived from N. 
kndla, signifying both to blend, to mix, and also 
to curL 


y^ Lag. To crack or split — Westm. N. lag, stroke of a 
sword or other weapon. 



Lane. To conceaL N. leyna, to hide. This appears 
to be the origin of Eng. " lane.** Also of our 
word " lonnin," q.v. 


Lapstone. The stone on which a cobbler beats his 
leather, generally supposed to be so called from 
being placed in his lap. But I think that it is 
more probably from N. lappa, to patch, to cobble. 

North. Crav. 
Lee. a scythe. D. lee. 

" Lee stones for new leeses." 

Rosley Fair. 

Leeze. To clean wool — Westm. N. les, anything 
made of wool. 

Let on. To tell out. N. laeta, to shew. 

North. Sco. 

Leister. A three-pronged fork for striking fish. 
S.-G. IjusteVf a similar instrument, and used in a 
similar manner along with a light to strike fish at 
night. Its origin is no doubt Ijus, light. 

North. Crav. Sco. 

Lids. Maimer, fashion. N. lidr, T>. lede, A. S. lUh, 
a limb, member, joint. In the maimer of its use 
our word corresponds with the Danish. Ander- 
ledes and ligeledes, " in other manner,*' and " in 
like manner," are just the same phrase as our 
"other Hds," and "like Hds.** From the N. 
lidl&ngr may perhaps be derived the English 
" livelong" — lidldnga nottina, the live-long night. 
This gives great expressiveness to the phrase — ^it 
is the night, not as a whole, but as divided into 



all its separate parts — the night hour by hour and 
minute by minute. 
LiMMERS. Shafts of a cart. N. lijnar, branches, from 
which such shafts were originally roughly con- 

North. Grav. Sco. 

LiSK. The groin. N. lidski, D. lyske. 

North. Sco. 

LiSH. Smart, active, sprightly. Probably a conse- 
sequential sense derived from lisk — the groin 
being the part of the body wherein activity might 
be supposed to reside. 

" Yence Marget was as lish a lass 
As e'er in summer trod the grass, 
Butfearfu' changes come to pass 

In this weary, weary warld." 

North. Crav. Sco. 
LoFF. To offer. N. lo/a, to promise. N. lofa also 
signified to praise, which is the sense of Sco. 
" loif." A. S. Iqfian appears to have been used 
only in this sense. 
Loft. An upper room. N. lofir. 

North. Crav. Sco. 

. LoNNiN. A country lane. Both "lane" and "lonnin" 
appear to be from the root of N. leyna, to conceal, 
in the sense of shelter or seclusion. From leyna 
is formed leyniy a private or secluded place, whence 
leynidyry the back door, in which the sense seems 
to approach that of Engl. " lane." Launling^ a 
hiding-place, from lauuy secretly, presents a form 
nearer to that of " lonnin." From this root are 



probably derived Engl, "lone" and "lonely." The 
N. has the phrase, cA Idta Ion, which seems the 
origin of our phrase, " to let alone." 

North. Crav. Sco. 
LouND, LouN. A calm. N. hldna, to become mild, 
logn, serenity of the atmosphere. 

North. Sco. 
. Loup. To leap. Land-louper. A vagabond. N. 
Y htaupa, to run, land-Jdauparij a vagrant. 

North. Crav. Sco. 
Low. To blaze. N. loga, D. lue, to blaze, N. hZua, 
to warm. 

North. Crav. Sco. 
LuRDANK A sluggard. This word has been derived 
from the haughty and imperious manner in which 
the Danes " lorded" it over the people whom they 
had subdued. 

" In every house Lord Dane did them rule all ; 
Whence layzie lozels lurdanes now we caU." 

Mirror for Magistrates. 
But this derivation, though bearing the prestige 
of antiquity, is, like most of its class, one which 
cannot find favour among etymologists. By what- 
ever name of hatred the insolent conquerors might 
be called, " sluggard" would be the last to apply 
to the character of the Northmen. And even if 
we could suppose such an epithet to have passed 
current in districts where the Danes had once 
been masters, and had been expelled, it would 
scarcely be found, as it is, to be a word more par- 
ticularly characteristic of the districts where they 
mustered in strongest force, and longest maintained 



their separate nationality. Besides, even if such 
a derivation would explain thefcrigin of "lurdane," 
it would not account for that of North. " lurdy," 
nor Crav. " lurgy," both same meaning as lurdane, 
nor of Cumb. " lurry," to loiter. In all these the 
root is evidently "lur," corresponding with N. 
IHTj laziness, lura, to be indolent. Mr. Todd more 
rationally derives lurdane from Old Fr. lourdin, 
clownish. But in my opinion both " lurdane*' 
and Icmrdin, as well as the Mod. Fr. lowrde, are 
derived from the Old Norse. The past part, of 
lura, to be lazy, would be luradr, which would 
give us lourde ; an adjective formed in a regular 
manner from the part, would be lurdinriy which 
would give us lourdin and " lurdane." I do not 
find such an adjective, but I think that it may 
probably have existed. 

Instead then of this word being one expressive 
of the indolence of the Northmen, it is one of the 
many terms, both English and provincial, in which 
they have transmitted to us their contempt for 
this very quality. For the Eng. " lazy" seems to 
be most nearly connected with N. lissa, torpor, 
hlessa, wearied ; " loll" is evidently derived from 
N. lolla ; " loiter," most probably from N. I'dtra, 
lente et segniter ingredi, and "looby," and "lubber" 
from N. Ivhhi, servus ignavus. Of the provincial 
terms the Crav. " lurgy," before referred to, is no 
doubt from N. lurgr, defectus virium. 
LuBRY. This is explained in the glossaries " to puU." 
But it occurs also in the Codheck Wedding in a 



sense which I cannot make to be any other than 
that of loitering. 

" The younger-mak lurried ahint them, 
Till efter them Bell made a breck." 
The meaning of this seems to be — ^the younger 
part of the company loitered behind the others in 
the marriage procession (perhaps doing business 
on their own account,) till one of them made a 
" breck" — a rush forward. N. lUra to be lazy, or 
lura, to weary. Haldorsen gives these as two 
separate verbs. 
Lythe. To listen. S.-G. lyde, D. lytte. 

" We'll see them cheat, and lythe them lie, 
O'er many a gallows bargain." 

Bosley Fair. 

Maff, Maflin. a simpleton. Miff-maff, nonsense. 
Probably from N. Tnafr, a gull. 
North. (Crav. " maffle," to stammer, to be puzzled.) 
Man. a Cumberland wife calls her husband her 
" man." The D. mcmd is also used in the same 
Mawk. a maggot. N. madk. 

North. Crav. Sco. 

Mazelin. a simpleton. Probably from N. wcw, 
ineptiae, masa, nugari. 

North. Crav. 

MowDY-WARP. A mole. N. moldva/rpa. The word 
might also be formed from A. S. mold, earth, and 
weorpaUy to cast up, but I do not find that the 
Anglo-Saxons had such a word. 

North. Crwo. 

Muck. Manure. N. myld. 

North. Crav. Sco. 



Muggy. Damp, foggy. N. mugga, a mist. 

Mump. To munch. N. mumpaj to eat voraciously. 
Brockett has " mump," to slap upon the mouth. 
The Sco, meaning seems to be that of complaining, 
begging with a face of distress, or as we say in 
Cumberland, " making a poor mouth." Macau- 
lay uses it in this sense in the third volume of his 
history, for which he has been taken to task by 
the critics. 

MuN. The mouth. N. munnr. This word has se- 
'^ veral derivatives in English, as "mumble," N. 

mumla, of which our provincial "mummle" re- 
tains the original form ; " muzzle," N. muslay 
contracted from munsla, to take in the mouth. 

Nar To seize unexpectedly. S.-G. nappa. D. 

North. Crav. (Sco. " nab," to strike.) 

Naggy. Cross, contentious. N. nagga, to quarrel, to 
dispute, connected probably with naga, to gnaw. 

North. Crav. 

Natty. Neat, tidy, well-made, active. N. natinn^ 
signifies sharp, handy, industrious, but seems to 
relate more to mental qualities, while " natty" is 
applied rather to personal appearance. It may 
therefore be referred rather to S.-G. naettj Eng. 
" neat." 
^ Neif. The fist. N. kmfi. 


North. Crav. 



Homed cattle. 

N. naiMy an ox. 

North. Sco. 



Owned. Fated, destined. The writer in the Kendal 
Mercury suggests, with considerable probability, 
that this may be related to D. aand, the spirit. 
^^ Paddock-rud. The spawn of frogs. N. ruda, re- 

^^. Pate. A badger. This word, like " brock," seems to 
be derived from the clumsy gait of the animal. 
N. fatf delay. See hrock^ next list. Also -paut, 

Pattick. a fool, simpleton, one who talks nonsense 
— Westm. Perhaps from N. patti^ a young boy, 
applied as the word "child" in English to one 
who conducts himself beneath his years. Or from 
N. patiy an uncertain rumour. 

Paut. To walk heavily. N. pat, delay. 

Poke. A sack. This is the North of England word, 
and is probably from N. poJd. The Sco. " pock" 
more probably from A.S. pocca. 

North. Crav. 

Pent. To paint. Penter. A painter. N. penta, 
to paint, pervta/rij a painter. 


Prent. To print. IceL prenta. Our dialect shows 
the original form both of this word and the last. 
They are both probably of Scandinavian origin. 


Quandary. A state of perplexity. This is another 
word which has been made the subject of etymo- 
logical vagaries. Some have derived it from the 
Lat. " quando ara T " When will the altar be 
ready T — the exclamation of a heathen anxious 



to have his doubts solved for him by the Augur, 
" When will the halter be ready T would almost 
be a fitting retort, on Mr. Disraeli's principle, for 
the author of such a derivation. Skinner has 
derived it from the Fr. " qu' en dirai T which, 
though an etymology adopted by Mr. Todd, is 
one of a sort generally to be viewed with great 
suspicion. I apprehend that it is derived from 
N. qucmtadry uncertain, irresolute, an idea which 
has suggested itself to Haldorsen. It will at once 
be seen that " quantadry," as a noun formed from 
the above would require only a slight euphonic 
change to make it our word. " Quandary" is 
common to the northern counties, but cannot be 
called a dialectic word. 
Quit. Free. N. quUtr. A Cumberland servant, 
when he has left his situation, says that he is 
" quit," in which he is often erroneously supposed 
to make an ungrammatical use of the verb. It 
was formerly in general use. 

** The owner of the ox shall be quit." 

Racken. To reckon. N. rakna. The A. S. is recnan, 
corresponding with the English word. 

Rackle. Rude, unmanageable. In this sense it 
might be, as Jamieson suggests, a diminutive from 
N. rackry brave, powerftd. But it seems to have 
sometimes a stronger sense, and more approaching 
to "raacaUy." The N. has rcekcdly contracted 
from rcegikall, calumniator, diabolus, which seems, 
however, rather too strong a sense. It has also 



Toikr and hraklegTy worthless, from Ivrak, refuse, 
which may be nearer the mark. Some of the 
other compounds of the same word show more of 
the sense in question, as hrakvidri, boisterous 
weather, hrakyrdi, violent language. " Eackle ** 
is probably the same word as the Old Eng. " rakel" 
used by Chaucer, and altered by later writers, 
from a perversion of its meaning, into " rakehell." 
The Fr. racaiUe, dregs, off-scum of society, may 
be from the same origin. 
Rake. A journey, excursion. N. reik. It is also 
applied to the scene of an excursion ; hence the 
name of the " Lady's rake," a hollow in the sum- 
mit of WaUow Crag, through which the Countess 
of Der went water is traditionally said to have 
effected her escape when her husband was arrested. 
The editor of Black's glossary remarks, " In the 
language of the Northern dalesmen, the sheep are 
said to rake when they extend themselves into a 
long file." But this, I apprehend, has no refer- 
ence to the act of spreading themselves into a 
file, further than that this is the invariable mode 
in which, among the mountains, they set out to 
seek for a fresh pasture. The sense is properly 
the same as that of Craven " to stray as cattle in 
search of food," — N. reika, to wander. In the 
lowlands of Cumberland the word is most gene- 
rally applied to a journey to and fro with a horse 
and cart. Thus a man leading coals to any place 
would say that he could make so many <' rakes*' 



in a day. This sense seems more akin to K. 
reiksa^ to travel backwards and forwards. 

North. Grav. Sco. 

Rangle. To range about in an irregular manner — 
Westm. N. r&ngla, oblique vagari. 

Rappis. a scamp. N. hrappr, wild, 'violent, or N. 
rdpa, rdfa, to wander, in the sense of a vagabond. 
Hence is probably formed riff-raff^ D. rips-raps, 
an alliterative combination of the two verbs rifa 
and rdfa, to rob and to roam. 

" Pell-siders and Sowerby riff-raff 
That deil a bum-bealie dar seize." 

Codheck Wedding. 
We have also " raffling," disorderly, prob. a dimi- 
nutive of rdfa, to roam about. 

Reap-up. To rip up — to revert to old grievances or 
disputes. The N. rippa upp appears to have had 
the same meaning, except that it was not neces- 
sarily employed in the offensive sense which our 
phrase always has, with reference to disagreeable 
subjects which ought to be allowed to drop. 

North. Crav. {Sco. " ripe," to investigate). 

Ribald, more commonly corrupted into Rebel. A 
riotous and dissolute person. N. ribhaldiy a violent 
and quarrelsome person. Hence probably Eng. 
" ribald ;" perhaps Fr. ribanid, formerly rihavld, 

RiFK Ready, quick to learn. Prob. from N. rifia, 
animo versare. 

Rive. To teai*. N. rifa, D. rive. 

NortK Crav. Sco, 

Rock. A distafil N. rockr, D. rok, 




Rotten- MAD. Quite mad. Prob. from N. rot, rotan, 
imbecility of mind. Hence perhaps the phrase 
" great rot," great nonsense, common in the North. 

RowTH. Abundance. N. rdd, force, power, wealth. 
" Here's baby-lakings, rowth o' speyce — 

BosUff Fair. 
E-OYSTER. To indulge in boisterous mirth. Prob. 

from N. rostttf a. tumult or uproar. 
E-ULE. To sit in strange postures — Westm. S.-G. 

riUla, D. ridle, to roll, turn about. 
Rule, Reul. A noisy, disorderly person. N. rugla, 

to disturb, disquiet — rugl, confusion, uproar. 
Rum. Queer. This is usually considered a cant word, 
though I rather doubt whether it is properly so 
classed. It may be from N. rwmr, vir immanis, 
gigas, upon the same principle that " droll" has 
been derived by some etymologists from D, droly 
S.-G. trolly an evil spirit. It is a regular Cum- 
berland word. 
y Scale. To disperse, separate. D. skille, 

North, Crwv. Sco, 


Sconce. A large screen dividing a room into two 
parts. N. sJcans, munimentum. 


Scowder, Bustle. Perhaps from N. shondra, ititare. 

Scraffle. To scramble, struggle. Applied also 
metaphorically to struggling for a livelihood. The 
explanation, " to be industrious," quoted by Todd, 
does not fully express this sense. " It's hard 
scraffling for a bit o' breed." We have it also in 
the sense of wrangling or squabbling- I take the 



two meanings to be of diflferent origin — the former 
is probably from N. skreflaz, to keep with diffi- 
culty upon the feet — ^the latter seems to be a 
diminutive of skrafa, to talk, whence skrajmn, 
garrulous, shraffi, a babbler, and skrcefa, a vain 
boaster. The S. G. has also skrajta, which as well 
as the N. skraffi and stroefa, was used as a term of 
reproach, much as we use " scraffles" in Cumber- 

" Peer scraffles ! thy land grows nae gurse." 

Codbeck Wedding. 

Snig. a young eel. N. snoggr, smoothe, slippery, 
D. snige, to creep. From the same root are pro- 
bably D. snog, A.-S. snaca, Eng. " snake," and N. 
snigUl, A.-S. snegd, Eng. "snaiL" 

North. Crav. 

Snirp. To pine, wither, contract. D. snirpe. 

Snirrells. The nostrils. This appears to be imme- 
diately derived from some Scand. word which has 
not come down to us, but of which the origin is 
N. STierla, to drill or bore holes. The sense, then, 
is the same as that of '* nostrils," (formerly " nos- 
thrils,") the apertures in the nose, from A.S. 
ihirlia/n, to drill or bore. Mr. Blackwell observes 
that " a number of verbs beginning with sn de- 
note a nasal function, or are in some way indica- 
tive of the nose, as to snuff, sneeze, snore, snoi-t, 
snarl, snuffle, snivel, snub, sneer, (fee." It is evi- 
dent, then, that we have here a very ancient word, 
for it is at the bottom, not only of many of these 
words, but of the older forms from which they are 
derived. " Snore," for instance, ho observes, is 



cognate with N. snorla. But N. snorla is evi- 
dently derived from some lost word corresponding 
to "snirrells," for the latter contains the sense 
which is at the root of alL 

^ Snodd. Smoothe. N. snodinn. 
r^o rx^ r.^. < , : ,^'c%/^^ ? North. Crav. Sco. 

Sops. Lumps of black lead. N. aoppry a ball, a sphere. 

SoTTER To boil slowly. Probably a diminutive from 
N. sioda, to boil. 

Span-new. Splinter-new. Quite new. ^ . spd/nr-nyr, 
D. splinter ny. The former of these is common to 
several dialects ; the latter I have not met with 
but in Cumberland. 

" Gogs splinter-new, bass- bottomed chairs." 

Mosley Fair. 
Various interpretations have been given of " span- 
new," to which it is not necessary for me to refer 
here, further than to say that the derivation sug- 
gested by Ihre, and approved by Jamieson, from 
N. spdnn, a chip, is, in my mind, the correct one. 
Hence the meaning of " span-new" would be the 
same as that of " splinter-new. The S.-G. sping- 
spangende ny contains a reduplication of the same 
idea — spinga, a chip, and spdnga, a chip. And 
so probably does our " spick-and-span" — " spick" 
being from " spilk" or " spelk," a splinter. The 
same idea seems to be contained in the Germ. 
splitter-neUy and the Sco. " split-new." We find 
also various changes rung upon the same idea in 
the different Teutonic dialects. The S.-G. has 
splitter-nxikenj stark-naked, and spLit-gal&n, quite 



mad. The D. has also splitter-nogen, and the 
Crerm. splitter-nackend, stark-naked. 

It is worthy of note that Cumberland has both 

the Old Norse phrase and the modern Danish. 

Sprack. Quick, lively. — Westm. N. sprcekr^ fortis, 


^ ^CRUNTY. Meagre, stunted. D. skrante, to be weakly, 

shrantingf a weakling. S.-G. skruten, shrivelled. 

North. Crav. 
^ ScuGG. Lurking or lying hid in a comer. N. skugg% 
shade or shelter. 

North, and Crav. " scugg," a place of shelter. 
Sco. " scugg," to hide, take shelter. 
■Seggy. Hard, callous, applied to the skin. N. dggy 

thick and hard skin. 
Seune. Seven. N. siound. But we use more com- 
monly "sebben," A.-S. sihun. 
y Shive. a slice. N. skvfa^ D. skive. 

North. Crav. 

SizLE. To saunter. N. sisa, difficilia lente moliri, 
aysla, to be engaged in business. The latter ap- 
pears in form to be a diminutive of the former, 
but in sense is an augmentative. Our word is 
properly a diminutive. 
^ Skaif. WUd, fearful. N. skidlfa, to tremble. 
^y^ Skelled. Twisted out of shape. N. skcddr^ distorted. 
Skill. Knowledge. N. skUia, intelligere. 

North. Crav. 
^KRIKE. To shriek. N. skrikia. 

North. Crav. Sco. 

Slat. To spill. N. sktta, spargere. 

North. Crav. 



Slairy. Nasty. N. leir, mud. See cla/rty. 

North. " slair," mud. 
Slinge. To go about in a creeping or sKnking man- 
ner. N. slinniy a sluggard, slongviry a snake. 
i^r- Slape. Slippery. N. sleipr. This is our most com- 
mon word, but we have also " slippy," A. S. slipeg, 
characterized by Johnson as " a barbarous provin- 
cial term," whereat Mr. Brockett is justly indig- 
nant. The Eng. "slippery" seems to be from 

S.-G. slipprig. 

North. Cra/v. 

Slaveb, To let the saliva escape from the mouth. 
N. slavra. 

Slokken. To quench, slake. S.-G. slokim, to extin- 

North. Sco. 

Smelteb. " Smelt" is a Scand. form of " melt" — in 
Eng. applied only to metals. Stagg uses it in th« 
sense of a capacity for liquids. 

" Each was at a slwote a smelter." 

Snaffle. To saunter. A diminutive of N. sndfa^ to 
wander — literally to follow scent like a hound. 

Snap. A round gingerbread cake. N. snap^ esculenta 
emedicata. The N. had also snoijckr, of the same 
meaning, whence prob. "snack," a slight and 
hasty repast, used in some parts of England. The 
D. has snapSy a dram, which with the words cor- 
responding in German and Dutch, is no doubt 
from the same origin as the above — all these words 
signifying something " snapped" or " snatched" in 

an impromptu maimer. 




Snape. To snub. N. sneipa, to put to shame. 


Snifter. To snivel. S.-G. sny^ta. 

North. Crav. Sco, 
Stang. To sting. N. stcmga. 

Crav. Sco. 
Stank. To groan. N. stianka. 

Crav. Sco. 
Stew. Dust. Also a state of trouble and perplexity- 
arising from a difficult task. A man rather over- 
mastered by his work would say, " Aw*s in a sad 
stew." I am inclined to consider these two 
meanings as of different origin. The former is no 
doubt the same as D. stov, dust — ^the latter may 
probably be from N. slid, difficult or troublesome 

North. Crav, Sco, 
Storken. To stiffen. N. storkna. 

North. CroA), 
Stour. a stake. N. staur. 

North. Cra/v. Sco, 

Strammer. Great, thumping, as a " strammer lie." 
D. 8tra/mme, to stretch. Hence a "strammer 
lie" is akin to the expression of " a stretcher." 

Strike. To make a straight line by means of a string. 
N. strUca^ lineam ducere. 

Sump. A puddle, a miry pond. D. sumpy a swamp. 

North, Gram, 

SwA ! Fie ! desist ! N. «vei, fie ! 

SwAYMOUS. Shy. Perhaps from N. sveiTna, to hover 
about. This may not improbably be the same 
word as Engl, " squeamish." 

North, "swamish." 



Swap. Clean, quickly, smartly. — Westm, Probably 
from N. sveipr, curled, derived on a similar prin- 
ciple to " cruse" — q v. 
SwEY. To swing. N. sveigia. D. sioeje, 

JVorth. (Crav. to weigh, to lean upon.) 
Swingle-tree. The splinter-bar. N. svingla, to vi- 

North Crav, 

Taggy-bell. The curfew. So called in the neigh- 
bourhood of Penrith, where the custom of ringing 
the bell is still kept up. I am indebted for this 
word to the writer in the Kendal Mercury/, who 
derives it, and I think correctly, from N. tegia, D. 
toekke, to cover. Thus the meaning is the same 
as that of the Norman couvre-feu, or " curfew." 

Tammy. Glutinous. N. talma, to impede, adhere. 

Tangle. Sea-weed. D. tang. 

North, and Sco, " tang." 

Tave. To wade through mire. Also to work up 
plaster or anything adhesive. N". tefta, to stick. 
Hence perhaps the origin of " tafl^," a sweetmeat 
made from treacle, well known throughout the 

Crav, " tave," to stick, as in mud. 

Team. To empty, to pour out. N. tcema. 

North, Crav^ 

Thick. Intimate, friendly. This word, which is com- 
mon to several dialects, has been generally sup- 
posed to be merely an oblique sense of the Eng. 
word. I take it, however, to be from N. theckia, 
to know, to be acquainted with, whence theckr, 
welcome, agreeable. 



Thur. These. N. theyr. 

Tike. A dog. N. tik, a bitch. 

North. Cra/o. Sco. 

Tile. To set a trap, to place anything so that it may 
easily fall. — Westm. N. tilla, to set up in a fast 
and loose manner. Probably allied to " tilt." 

Tome. A fishing-line made of hair. N. faumr, J). 
tomrrvej a fishing-line. Jamieson observes that 
" tome" is applied to the whole length of the line ; 
a single length from knot to knot is called *' a 
snood,*' S.-G. STiod, a small cord. 

North. Sco. 

Traily. Slovenly. N. treglegr, lazy, indolent. 
Tramp. To travel on foot. N. trampa. 

North. Crav. Sco. 
Trave. To stride along as if through long grass. N. 
trejm, to impede. Mr. Carr observes, " Our word 
invariably includes the idea of having the feet 
fettered in grass. 

North. Crav. 

Trig. Tight, compact, trim ; also well in health. N. 
tryggr, true, faithful, also safe. North, neat, 
trim ; also true, faithful. Sco. neat, trim. 

TwiLY, Hestless, wearisome. — Westm. N. tvjla^ to 
doubt, to vacillate. 

Tyke. A coarse, vulgar person. D. tyk, gross, cor- 

North. Crav. 

Wale, Choice. N. vol. 




Wanely. Carefully, gently. N. vandlega, carefully. 

" * Come, luive !' quo' I, * aw'l wanely take thee down' — 
" * Stand off ! thou gowk,' she answered with a frown." 

Simon and Sammy, a Pastoral, by Etoan Clark. 

"Wap. a truss of straw. N. vap, involucrum. 

War-days. All other days except Sunday. S.-G. 

hwardag, an ordinary, or working-day. 
Weeky. Wet. N. vokviy moisture, vokva, to wet. 
1^.- W HEAM. The gullet N. hvoma. 

Whidder. To tremble. N. hvidra, to be easily 

Whiddersful. Energetic, striving. Probably from 

N. hvida, fervida actio. 
Yammer. To scold, to bawl. N. jdlTna, strepere. 

I now proceed to give a list of words which might 
be derived either from the Anglo-Saxon or Scandina- 
vian, some of which may with more probability be re- 
ferred to the one and some to the other, but not with 
so much certainty as to be definitely classed with 


Ang-nail, Nagnail, Nangnail. a com upon the 
foot, but more commonly applied in Cumberland, 
and also more correctly, to the painful in-gathering 
of the nails of the feet. N. dngr, A. S. ang, pain, 
trouble. The Anglo-Saxons had ang-ncegl, a whit- 
low. A ng, in composition, was commonly used by 
them to express a complaint — ^thus ang-breost, the 
asthma. Nangnail is probably merely a euphonic 



form of either of the two others. Nagnail, the 
writer in the Kendal Mercury derives from D. 
nage^ A, S. gnagan, to gnaw, fret, annoy, which, 
if it be a separate word, and not a mere transposi- 
tion of " ang-nail," is a probable derivation. 

Grav. " nang-nail,*' a com. 
Angry. Painftd, inflamed, applied to a sore. A. S. 
ang, N. dngrj pain ; N. iingra, to afflict, torment. 
The last seems to be the word from which it is 
immediately derived. 
>^ Arden. Fallow quarter. N. ardr, a plough, arinn, 
ploughed. A. S. ared, ered, ploughed. 

North, "arder." 
Ark. a chest. N. ork, A. S. a/rc, 

North. Crav. 

Attercop. a spider's web, but properly the spider 
itself. A. S. attercoppa, D. eddercop. The meaning 
is either " poison-cup," or " poison-head." Westm. 
has " attery," irascible — (literally venomous) — 
and North, "attermite," an ill-natured pei-son. 
The latter is one of the severest terms in the whole 
vocabulary of vituperation — " venom-mite" — com- 
bining at once the extremes of insignificance and 

North. Crav. Sco. 

Aw. " Whose aw this ?" is a common Cumberland 
phrase signifying " whose is this ?" It seems to 
be a relic of the Old Eng. verb " awe," to own, to 
possess. This I take to be derived from N. d, 
first person singular of the verb eiga, or A. S. ah, 
third person singular of the verb agan^ to 



— "I have," "he has." In this case "whose aw 
this ?" might be a perversion of " who awes this T 
It seems also to have been used by the Northmen, 
particularly in composition, as a noun. Hence 
the names of places in the county, as Ulpha, before 
referred to. In this case " whose aw this ?" might 
be " whose possession is this ?" But the former 
seems more probable. 

Bagging. Food. " A coarse term used in Cumber- 
land," says the editor of the " Westmoreland and 
Cumberland dialects." But the writer in the Ken- 
dal Mercury suggests that it may not be so coarse 
after all, signifying simply a " baking," from D. 
hage, to bake. I am afraid, however, that in this 
case Cumberland cannot be redeemed, for the 
word is too obviously derived from A. S. and 
D. hadg, the belly. "Bag" in this sense is an 
Old Eng. word, and "baggie" is still used in 
North. Hence, observes Halliwell, " eating is 
bagging, or filling the stomach." Similar phrases 
are found in various dialects, so that at any rate 
Cumberland is not singular in its vulgarity. 

Bairn, Barn. A child. N. ham, A. S. hea/m. 

North. Gram. Sco. 

Bass. Dried rushes ; also the inner bark of a tree. 
«^ N. hast, A. S. hcest, the inner bark of a tree. 

North, "bass," "bast," matting, Crav. mat- 
ting made of the inner bark of birch, Sco. a 

Balk, Bawk. A cross beam, of any size, fix)m the 
beam of a house to the perch of a bird cage. N. 
hiMki, A. S. balca. North. Crav. Sco. 



Bank To afflict with a sore disease — Westm. N. hana, 
to kill, A. S. hanay death. 

Bid. To invite. 'N.bidia, bioda, A.B.bidda/n; The 
two N. verbs have rather different meanings — 
bidia, which seems to correspond with the A. S. 
biddan, having more the sense of intreating — 
bidda, of inviting — Bidia KonUy to ask a lady's 
hand — bidda til brullups, to ask your friends to 
the wedding. (The sense of bidding or command- 
ing is common to them all). 

A " bidden- wedding" in Cumberland is a mar- 
riage, generally among rustics in humble circum- 
stances, to which the whole of the neighbourhood 
is invited, and at which a collection is made to 
start the young couple in life. It is generally 
with reference to a wedding or a funeral that the 
word is applied, and those who go round to give 
the invitations, and in the latter case to distribute 
the mourning, are called " bidders." So in 
Danish bedemcmd signifies " an undertaker, one 
who invites to a funeral or a wedding." The 
sense in question was a common one in Old Eng. 
" As many as ye shall find, hid to the marriage." — Matt, xxii., 9. 

North. Crav. 

BiELER. The master of the revels at a Cumberland 
feast, whose duty it is to see that the guests have 
plenty to drink — and that they drink it. N. 
hirlaj A.S. byrdiom, to give to drink, whence A.S. 
hirle^ a butler. 


BiZEN. To become a shame and a bizen — to acquire a 




disgraceful notoriety. Generally supposed to be 
a corruption of " bye-saying," but clearly from 
N. hysn, A.S. hisen^ a warning, example. 

North. Sco. 
Blink. A spark of fire. Blickent. Bright, shining 
— Westm. N. hliJcay A.S. bliccm, to shine. 

BoRD-CLAiTH. A table cloth. N. hordMcedi. The 
word might also be formed from A. S. hord, a 
table, and d6th, cloth. 

BouKS. The divisions or boundaries of a field. N. 
hdkr, a fence or division, A. S. halca^ a ridge. 
" Bouk " is sometimes used in the general sense 
of a space or distance, as in the following lines 
from Stagg, descriptive of a husband mnning 
away from his incensed wife. 
" Tib, leyke a fury, cursan efter, 
And he, though swift, had nae houk left her, 
For baith gat nearly hame togither." 
North. Crav. Sco. a ridge of land leffc unploughed. 

Bower, Boor. A bed-chamber, an inner room. Or 
rather, tlie inner room in a cottage consisting of 
two rooms. A. S. bury J), huv/r. 

North. Sco. 
Bouse, Boose. A stall for oxen, or stable for horses. 
N. Ids, A. S. h6s. 

North. Crwo. 
Brit. To break or bruise. Brot-ground, (Westm.) 
land newly broken up. N. britia, A. S. breotan, 
to break — N. brotinn, A. S. bi'oten, broken. 

Sco. ^^ brittyn," to break down. 



y Brock. A badger. D. hroh^ A. S. hroc. The origin 
appears to be N. hrocka, to go heavily, as a badger 
does. Brockr in Old Norse signified a clumsy and 
heavy going horse, and this was also one of the 
Anglo-Saxon meanings. In the same manner it 
is applied in North., says Brockett, " to a cow or 
husbandry horse." Our other word for a badger 
seems to be of similar origin. — See pate, former 

North. Crav. Sco. 

Gael. A country man. N. karl, A. S. carl, ceorl, 
whence Eng. " churl." 

North. Crav. Sco. 

Carlings. Grey peas steeped in water, and fried with 
butter. The annivei-sary of this dish, general 
throughout the north, is the second Sunday 
before Easter, or Mid Lent Sunday. It was 
formerly called Care Sunday — according to some^^ 
from being a season of religious care and anxiety 
— according to others from N. kmra, to accuse, in <?i^^t/^.'v^ 
reference to the accusations brought against our 
Lord at this time. The termination "ling" is 
A. S., and may denote an image, example, me- 
morial — "carlings" being memorials of Christ's 
suflPerings, or of the accusations brought against 
him. In Cumberland the peas are more com- 
monly eaten without any preparation, and the 
young people are also in the habit of filling their 
pockets with them, sallying forth into the street, 
and, in fashion of less sombre carnival, saluting 
the passers by, particularly their own friends, with 



a handful. This custom has no doubt had its 
origin in a religious observance, and even the last- 
named practice is probably not without its sig- 
nificance. As the Russian on Easter Sunday 
presents his friend with an eggj saying, " Christ 
is risen to-day^' — so when the Cumbrian dashes 
a handful of peas at his friend — the original and 
solemn meaning was most probably " Take this ! 
in remembrance that Christ suffered, as at this 
time, for you and me." 

Calkers, Cawkers. The irons with which the clogs 
of the Cumberland peasantry are shod. A. S. 
calcy a shoe, S.-G. Mack, calcaneum calcei. 

North. {Crav. " calkins," the hind part of ahorse- 
shoe turned upwards.) 

Clag. To stick, to adhere. D. klceg, glutinous, A. S. 

dcBg, clay. 

North. Crav. 

Clout. A rag, a small piece of cloth, N. Jdutr, A. S. 


North. Crav. 

Crink. a very small child — Westm. N. hrmkiaz, to 
be weak or sickly, A. S. crane, sick, weak. 

Croup. To crouch. N. kriilpa, to fall on the knees, 
A. S. cre6pa/n, to crawl. 

Crowd Y. A mess of oatmeal. I take this word, Eng. 

" gruel," and Norwegian grod, to be all from the 

same root — N. kru, alias grily a multitude, A. S. 

cread, a crowd. 

North. Cram. 

Dike. A ditch — also a hedge. N. dxki, A. S. dy^. 

North, Crav^ 



DiT. To stop up. N. diU(jif A. S. dittan. 


Dow. Good, useful. Donnet. A good-for-nothing 
person — also the devlL N. duga, D. due, A. S. 
diigarif to be of value or use. 

" For dancin he was nought-at-dow, 
But a prime han for a drinker." 


**Donnet," a good-for-nothing person, Brockett 
derives from do-naught. But in Cumberland 
" donnet" also means the devil, and do-naught 
would be a very inappropriate title for the ever- 
busy author of evil. It is evidently dow-noty not 
good — corresponding to " evil one." 
Drepe. To speak slowly. N. dreypa, A. S. dripauy 
to drop. 

Dwine. To pine, to wither. N. A. dvina, S. dunnan. 

North. Crav. Sco. 
Egg. To urge on, incite. N. eggiay A.S. eggian, to 
give an edge, sharpen, stimulate ; common to 
most of the northern dialects. 
. Elden. Fuel. N. eUdr, fire, ellda, to kindle. A. S. 
cdd, fire, odariy to kindle. 

North. Crav. 

/ Elvers. Young eels — Westm, Possibly from N. eZ/wr, 

a river. But more probably from A, S. (dfe, S.-G. 

ael^fy an elf Hence the Old Eng. verb " elfe" to 

twist into knots, from the popular belief that 

matted or twisted locks were the work of fairies. 

** Elfe all my hairs in knots." 

King Lear. 



From this verb the word in question seems to be 
immediately derived — " elvers," signifying simply 
"twisters." There is a passage in Henry 4th, in 
which FalstafF compares Prince Hal to an " elf- 
skin," in allusion to his lank person. This has 
been supposed by some commentators to be a mis- 
print for " eel-skin." But it is probable that it 
is no misprint, for " elT' may have been an old 
word for an eel, as " elver," a young eel, is the 
diminutive still in use. 

Fain. Glad, fond, '^.feginn, A. ^.fcegan. 

North. Cr(w. Sco. 

Fare. To go, proceed, travel. N. fara, A. S. fceran, 
This word, in different forms and with various 
derivatives, prevails extensively throughout the 
north. We have Farlies, strange sights, won- 
derful events — such as travellers are supposed to 
witness — Farantly, orderly, respectably, (N./ar- 
andi, a traveller,) after the fashion of those who 
have seen the world — Farelooper, an interloper, 
and many others. 

Feg. Dead grass — Westm. A. S. foege, dying. N. 
feigia, to rot. 
/ Feckless. Helpless, inefficient. Mr. Todd thinks 
" perhaps a corruption of effectless." But might 
it not be from S.-G. fecJda, Sco. " fecht," to fight 
— a feckless person signifying originally one who 
was unfit for fighting, and who, in the days when 
war was the chief business of man, would be con- 
sidered a useless member of society enough. 

Nm^th. Sco. 



Fend. To make a shift, to struggle for a living. 

Fendy. Thrifty, frugal. The N. has fenidingr, 
niggardly, avaricious, from fe, property, and 
nidingr, greedy — a stronger sense of fendy. It 
might be formed more naturally from N. fe, pro- 
perty, and neyta, D. nyde, to make use of, to get 
the benefit of, which gives us very much of the 
sense of fend. The A. S. has also^eo^, property, 
and nyttiauy to enjoy, make use of Sir J. 
Sinclair explains fendy as "ingenious in finding 
out expedients," and connects it with "find." 
But ingenuity does not seem to enter so much into 
the sense as care and finigality. 

North. Crav. Sco. 

Fettle. A cord used to a pannier. N. fetUl, A. S. 
fetd, a band, fastening. 

Fore-elders. Ancestors. N. forelldrer, A. S. fore- 

North. Crav. Sco. 

Foosen. Liberal. N. and A. S. fus, ready, prompt, 

Formel. To bespeak. N. formdlif a preface, A. S. 
foTTrnd, a bargain. 

Fbemmed. Strange, D. fremmede, A. S. fremed. 

North. Cra/o. Sco. 
y Frosk. a frog. N. froskOf A. S. /rose. 

Frow. a worthless woman. N. fru, A. S. freoj 
mistress of a family. 

North, a slattern, a lusty woman. Crav. a 
dirty woman. Sco. a lusty woman. 



Gain. Near, ready, convenient. In this sense it is 
applied in Cumb. to a road or way — "a gainer 
way," a more direct road. This corresponds ex- 
actly with the D. gisrirveif a short cut, a near road 
In North, it is generally attached to another word 
to denote a degree of comparison, as " gain brave," 
" gain quiet." So also sometimes in Cumb., but I 
think in a stronger sense than that of " tolerably " 
given by Brockett. It is, I apprehend, the A. S. 
gin, used in composition to increase the sense ; as 
fmst, fast, ginfcesty very fast. 

North. Cravy Sco. 

'Gan, GANa. To go. N. gdnga, A. S. gdn, gangcm. 
" Gan^' seems to be A. S. — " gang" may be either 
A. S. or Scand. 
North. " gan," " gang," Crav. and Sco. " gang." 

Gavelock. An iron bar used as a lever. N. gaflok. 

A. S. gafeloc. 

North. Crav. Sco. 

Ginger, Gingerly. Softly, cautiously. 

" Then forth to't door ole Brammery went 
Right goddartly and ginger." 


The adjective is here used for the adverb, for local 

poets must conform to the exigencies of verse as 

well as their betters. Presuming the original 

sense to be that in which it is commonly used, of 

walking softly or careftJly, it might, as Serenius 

suggests, be formed as a diminutive from " gang." 

But on the whole it is perhaps more probably from 

A S. ging, young, tender. In the south of Eng- 



land, according to Mr. Halliwell, "ginger" 
signifies brittle, tender, delicate, which is a sense 
more closely that of the A. S. 
y Glad. Smoothe, sHppeiy. N. gledia, to polish, A. S. 
gled, slippery. 

North. CroAJ. 

Gradely. Honestly, respectably. Also as an adjec- 
tive — honest, respectable. Brockett and others 
derive it from A. S. grad, a degree, step. Or it 
might be from N. greidi, hospitality ; or from 
greida, to pay — one who pays his way. Or from 
grceda — to prosper, to do well in the world — 
respectability in the sense of " keeping a gig." 
(This definition, by the way, though it has been 
so much laughed at, seems to me to express what 
was intended, the position of the man in life, as 
aptly as " keeping a carriage" does a still higher 
sphere. I believe the ridicule is partly owing to 
a mistake of Mr. Carlyle in making the witness 
apply it to the murderer, ThurteU, instead of to 
the murdered man.) In addition to the above we 
have N. greidlegr, ready, prepared, in order, which 
is in form the word itself. 

North. Crav. 

'Grank. To groan. N. hrdnhr^ A. S. crane, sick. 
Grave. To dig. N. grafa, A. S. grafan. 

North. Crav. 
Greet. To weep. N. grdta, A. S. grcetan. 

North. Crav. Sco. 
Grip. To seize. N. gripa, A. S. gri^an. 

North. Sco. 



Handsel. The first money received at a market — the 
first use of anything. N. ha/ndsol, the closing of 
a bargain by striking hands. S.-G. hcmdsod, the 
first receipts for sales. A, S. hamdsylen^ a hand- 
ing over. 

North. Cra/D. Sco. 

Harry, Herry. To rob — now generally confined to 
birds' nests. N. Iieria, A. S. herian, to invade, 
ravage, plunder — from N. fier, A. S. Iiere, an 

North. Sco. 
Herret. a pitiful little wretch — Westm. This is 
evidently the diminutive of N. heri, A. S. hara, a 
hare, as " leveret" is of the Fr. lievre, " Her- 
ret" was probably the ancient word for a young 
hare, before the Normans introduced " leveret." 
Kemp. To strive, to contend. As a noun, a bold and 
resolute person. 'N. kempa, A. S. cempa, a com- 
batant. It is now generally applied to peaceful 

*' See bow the kemping shearers bum, 
And rive, and bind, and stook their com." 


Two lines in which the sound rings well with the 
sense, and happily expresses the bustle of emula- 
tion. Brockett, perhaps having this passage in 
view, explains the meaning of kemp " to strive 
against each other in reaping corn." It has by 
no means such a restricted sense — at least in Cum- 

" Auld Nick and Scott yence kempt, they say, 
Whea best a reape fra saun cud tweyne." 



(" Scott" is Michael Scott the wizard, who seems 
to be considered in Cumberland fully a match for 
the devil.) 
Ken. To know. N. kenna, A. S. cennan. 

North. Crav. Sco. 
Kep. To catch — as a ball. N. kippa, A. S. cepan. 
KiST. A chest. N. Idsta^ A. S. cist. 

North. Crav. 

Kittle. To tickle. N. kitla, A. S. citelan. 

North. Crav. 

Lake. To play. Laker. One engaged in sport. 
Laking. a toy or plaything. N. leika, A. S. 
Idcan, to play, N. leikariy a player. The fre- 
quency with which "Cocklakes" occurs in the 
names of places in Cumberland and Westmoreland 
shews, as Mr. Williamson observes, how common 
used to be the barbarous diversion of cock-fighting.* 
In Scotland " lake" is used only in a limited sense, 
to denote a stake at play. 

North. Crav. 

Late. To seek, to invite. N. leita, A. S. lathian. 
Both this word and the last are more probably 

North. Crav, 

Lave. The rest. In North, also " laver." N. leifary 
A. S. Idfy remainder, from N. lei/ay A. S. Imfariy 
to leave. 

North. Sco. 

LiG. To lie. N, liggia. A. S. liggan. "He wears 
a watch, and ligs by hissel" — a Lancashire defini- 
tion of a gentleman — as a pendant to which I have 

* Local £tymol(^. 



just heard a Monmouthshire definition of a lady 
— " She can't make bread, and goes in at the front 

North. CroAj. Sco. 

Lop. a flea. D. loppe, A. S. loppe. 

Mense. Politeness, propriety of conduct. Menseful. 
Mannerly, considerate. Menseless. Graceless, 
unmannerly. N. menskr, A. S. mennisej belonging 
or pertaining to man. The Old Eng. " menske" 
preserves the original form. These words have 
no exact equivalent in the Eng.Hanguage — ^their 
origin being in that natural feeling of politeness 
and propriety which makes a man do the thing 
that is right. In Cumberland, when a man out 
of civility gives an invitation which is not ac- 
cepted, he is said to " save both his meat and his 
mense." We have it also as a verb — 

" To mence this merry day," 
is applied in the " Bridewain" to doing proper 
honour to a wedding. In the foUowing lines fi'om 
Anderson, which, by the way, are not without 
simple feeling, the word expresses a mingl^-sense 
of ornament, fitness, and utility. 

" The sattle neist was thrown asides- 
It might ha sarred me and mine — 
My mudder thought it mensed a house, 
But we think shem of auld lang-syne." 

Altogether, this is one of the good old words which 
is a loss to the language. How hollow is " polite- 
ness," and how shallow is "civility," compared 
with the word which has its origin in the innate 
proprieties of man ! 



Mess. Truly. Probably, as Mr. Halliwell suggests, 
from N. Tnesstty A.S. messe, the mass — ^the old 
oath, " by the mess !" 
MiCKLE, Mair, Maist. Much, more, most. N. 
mikilly meiriy mestr, A.S. micel, mdra, mcest. 

North. Crav. Sco. 
^ Midden. A dunghill. D. moddingy A.S. midding. tm^^^ 

North. Crav. Sco. 
Mind. To remember. D. mindes, AS. inynan. 

Noith. Sco. 
l^y^ Mirk. Dark. N. myrkr, A.S. mire. 

North. Crav. Sco. 
^■' Mull. To break into small pieces. As a noun — dust 
— as of peats, <fec. N. mylia, to bruise, to grind, 
A. S. mylj dust, powder. 

North. Crav. Sco. 

Nag. To gnaw. N. naga, AS. gnagan. 

NoHh. (Crav. "naggle".) 
Nappy. Strong — applied to ale. Also, according to 
Brockett, to the state produced by strong ^ ale. 
N. nahh% A. S. nah^ the head — " nappy" signify- 
ing " heady." In Cumb. " napper" is sometimes 
used for the head. 
^ Neb. Nose, point, beak. N. nehhiy A. S. neh. 

North. Crav. Sco. 
Nicker. To neigh. N. gnaka, A. S. hncegan. In 
the " Nick" or " Neck," N. nikr, of the Scand. 
and other Teut. nations, a water-sj)iiit in the form 
of 'a horse (whence our word " Old Nick"), we 
find a word allied to the above. 



Nous. Judgment, sense, discernment — "Pure Greek" 
— says Mr. Carr. But how could 'our Cumber- 
land rustics get hold of a pure Greek word ? 
Brockett connects it with Lat. noscere. Both the 
Lat. and the Gr. may not improbably be cognate, 
but the word from which " nous" is immediately 
derived I take to be N. hnysa, A. S. neosian, to 

examine, consider, investigate. 

North, Crav. 

^^-■^ Parrak. a small field or inclosure near a house. N. 
parrak. A. S. parruc. The original meaning 
both of the N. and the A. S. seems to be that of 
place where an animal is confined or tied up. In 
Old Eng. "parrick" was sometimes applied to a 
cattle-stall. And the verb " parroken" was also 
in use, signifying to inclose or confine. The Eng. 
words "paddock" and "park," the one a corrup- 
tion and the other a contraction of "parrak," 
both retain more or less of this sense. 
Pace-eggs or Pasche-eggs. Eggs boiled hard and 
dyed various colours, — given to children at Easter. 
N. pitska, A. S. pasche, Easter. D. paskcegg, an 
Easter egg. This custom prevails more or less 
throughout almost all Christian countries, but in 
England is now confined to the north. In Russia 
and the East such eggs are generally dyed red, in 
memory of the passion of our Lord, but with us 
are ornamented in any way that fancy may sug- 
gest, being frequently stained by boiling in party- 
coloured ribbons. At Carlisle it is the custom 
for the children to appear in new clothes on this 



occasion, and the little boy would feel degraded 
among his fellows who could not sport new cor- 
duroys at Easter. This custom may probably 
have its origin in the ancient practice of baptizing 
the converts to Christianity only twice a year — 
viz., at Christmas and at Easter, on which occa- 
sions they were arrayed, in emblem of the purity 
of their profession, in white garments. Within 
my own recollection the girls used to appear more 
particularly in white frocks, but whether as a 
fashion of the time, or as a reHc of the ancient 
custom, I am not sufficiently versed in the mys- 
teries of female attire to decide. 
Pell. A rattling shower of rain or hail. Perhaps 
from N. pila, A, S. pU, a dart or arrow. For 
among the mountains of Cumberland and West- 
moreland the rain sometimes comes down in a 
maimer for which even the expression of " cats 
and dogs" is inadequate. 

North, Grav. 

E-ADLiNGS. Bribery money at an election — Westm, 

N. rod, A. S. reed the senate. Judging from the 

word, I am afraid the practice must be an ancient 

Rash. Quick, brisk. D. rasky A. S. rcesc. This is 

the original meaning of Eng. " rash " now only 

used in the sense of imprudence. 
Ratch. To rove about, as a dog does, over hedges, 

ditches, &c. — ^generally applied to children. N. 

rax;ki, A. S. rceccy a hound or sporting dog, whence 

Old Eng. "rach." 



Rawn. To eat greedily — Westm. Prob. from N. rdn, 
A. S. ran, rapine — the sense being that of snatch- 
,^ Keek. Smoke. N. rsT/kr, A. S. rec. 

North. Crav. Sco. 
Reeve. To rob. Keever. A robber. N. rifaf 
riufa, A. S. refcm, to plunder, N. reyfari, a 
J Rise. Branches of trees — a word chiefly used in re- 
ference to hedging and weiring. N. ArC«, A S. 

North. Gram. Sco. 

Sackless. Innocent, simple. N. saklaus, A. S. 

North. Cra/v. 

Sark. a shirt. N. serkr, D. soerk, A. S. si/rce. 

North. Crav. Sco. 
Sattle, Settle. A long seat with a high back. D. 
sattel, A. S. setl. 

North. Crav. 

ScAMMELL, Skemmell. A stool or small bench. N. 
skemmiU, A. S. scamel. 


Scathe. Loss, damage, hurt. N. shadi, A S. scathe. 

Shill. To shell (as peas, &c.) N. skilia, A S. scylauy 
to divide, separate. 

North. Crav. 

C) ^ Skep. a basket made of rushes. Ice! skeppaj A. S. 

North. Sco. 



Skibl. To scream. N. skrcdlay to shriek, A. S. 
scroti a scream. 

Forth. Sco. 

Smuly. Smoothe, demure. D. smidt, A. S. smylt. 
Snaar. Greedy. N. snar, A. S. snear, quick, hasty. 
Sco. " snarre" Jamieson explains as " tart, 
Snarrel. a hard knot. N. snara, to twist, A. S. 

snedre, a noose. 
SoNN. To think deeply. N. sirma, A. S. sinncm, 
Spain. To wean. N. speni, A. S. spana, a teat. 

North. Crav. Sco. 
Speer. To ask. N. spyria^ A. S. spirian. 

North. Crav. Sco. 
Spelk. a splinter. N. speLkr^ A. S. apdc. 

North. Crew. Sco. 
Staffle. To walk unsteadily. N. stapa, A.S. stapan^ 
to step. The dimin. is "stapple," softened into 
" staffle." 


Stag. A young horse. N. steggr, A. S. steig, a male 
animal, vid. " steg." 

Crav. Sco. 
Stano. a pole, D. and A. S. 8ta>ng. 

North. Crav. Sco. 
Steek. To shut, to close. N. stiki, A. S. staca, a 
stake, referring to the primitive mode of securing 
a door. 

North. Crav. 
Steg. A gander. See " stag." 

Nortli. Crav. 



Steven. An assembly, or gathering. N. stefna, a 
public assembly for hearing complaints, and de- 
ciding causes. Also an assembly in general. The 
A. S. has stefeUy a voice, sound, also agreement, 
concert. The word, however, seems more pro- 
bably Scand. We have the phrase, " to set the 
Steven," to fix a meeting. The N. has at stcmda 
stefnUy to " stand the steven" — to answer to a 

North. (Crav. Sco. " stewen," a voice, a loud 
noise — also an appointment.) 
Stound. Stoun. a sudden fit of pain. N. styniay 
A. S. styncm^ to groan. 

North. Sco. 

Stoup. a pot, a flagon. N. staup, A. S. steap. 


SuL. A plough — Westm. N. sila, to plough, A. S. 
syl, sut, a plough. 

Stour, Stoor. Dust — ^but properly, as Jamieson ob- 
serves, dust in motion. Also tumult, stir, con- 
fusion. N. styr, war, strife — A. S. styrian, to 
stir, excite, trouble. 

" Yet, God be thanked, this awful stoor 
Suin ceased, wi' a' its feary frays." 

North. Crav. Sco. 
SwELT. To faint with heat, to wither from want of 
moisture. N. svelta, to starve, svdti, a place par- 
ched and unproductive, A. S. swdtian, to die 

North. Crav, Sco. 



Swipe. To drink off hastily. N. svipa, A. S. swifan, 
to hasten, to move quickly. We also use " whip" 
in the same sense — ^to " whip up," to eat or drink 
anything quickly. This is the same word as 
"swipe," s as before observed, being frequently 

North. Crav. 

Tharm. Gut. D. tarm, A. S. tliearm. 
y Theak, Thack. To thatch. N. tliekiaj A. S. thaccan, 

North. Crav. 

Thirl. To drill or bore. N. thirla, A. S. thirlicm. 

North. Crav. Sco. 
Thrave, Threave. Twenty-four sheaves of corn. D. 
trave, A. S. threaf. 

North. Crav. Sco. 

TiTE, Titter. Soon, sooner. Also used in the ob- 
lique sense, to imply willingness or readiness. 
N. and A. S. tid, time. The N. has also tidr^ 
quick, soon. " Tide," as in Easter-tide, is pro- 
bably from N. tidir, a feast, and not from tid, 
time. " Tidings," news, the events of the time, 
seems also to be from N. tidindi. 

North. Crav. Sco, 

Titty. Smter—Cumb. Tid. Cliildish — Westm. K 
tidr, familiar, tita (feminine) a little bird. A. S. 
tidder, tender, frail. Hence we have " tit " ap- 
plied as a familiar diminutive to many small 
birds, as the titmouse, tit-lark, <fec. The N. has 
tUlingry the hedge-sparrow, a small bird attendant 
upon the cuckoo. The same name, " titling," is 



given to it in Northumberland and in Scotland. 
In West, any little pet animal is caUed a " tidling." 
In Crav., says Mr. Carr, " tit," with its adjunct, 
" puss," is frequently used in calling a cat. All 
these terms seem to be from the same root, and to 
be used in the same sense as familiar diminutives. 

Trod. A foot-path. N. trodd, A. S. trod. 

North. Cram. 

Waffle. To hesitate, to fluctuate. N. veifla, to 
vibrate, a frequentative of veifa. A. S. waficm, 
to be astonished, wafuty hesitating. 

North. (Sco. " waff.") 

Wang-tooth. A grinder. N. vdngi^ S.-G. and A S. 
wang, the cheek, jaw. See " whang." 

North. Crofv. 

Wankle. Weak, unsteady. S.-G. wanlda, to fluctu- 
ate, A. S. wan^colj unstable. 

Wark, Pain, aching. N. verkr^ S.-G. wderk, A. S. 


North. Crav. Sco. 

Waur. Worse. N. verr, S.-G. waerra^ A S. warra. 

North. Crcuv. Sco. 
Wax. To grow. N. vaxa^ A. S. weaxan. 

North. Crav. 
Welt. To lean on one side, to upset. N. vdlta, 
A. S. wealtian. 

North. Crav. Sco. 

Whang. A large slice of anything eatable, particu- 
larly bread or cheese. Probably from "wang," 
the cheek, jaw. See " wang." 

North. Sco. 




While. WMcli. D. hvUke, A. S. htmlc. 

North. Sco. 
/WiGGiN. The mountain ash — Westm. N. ingia^ to 
^ consecrate, A. S. wig, holy. The name is derived 

from the power of repelling witches superstitiously 
ascribed to this tree. Or rather, perhaps, from 
the origin of that power, in the sacred character 
of the tree. Hence " wiggin'* seems to have the 
same meaning as " roan" or " rowan*' — N. ragna, 
to consecrate. 


"WizzENED. Withered, shrivelled. N. visna, A. S. 
loisnicm, to wither, to dry up. 

North. Crav. Sco. 

YuLK Christmas, N. jol, A. S. jul. May not this 
be the origin of our word "jolly" ? It has been 
generally referred to the Fr. joli, but I think that 
both the Fr. and Eng. words may be derived — 
and both characteristically — from the same origin. 
The difference between the ideas of the two 
nations as to the mode of keeping a holiday could 
scarcely be more aptly expressed than by their 
respective words ^o^t and "jolly." 




The reader who has gone with me through the 
traces of the Northmen in these two counties can 
scarcely fail to be struck with the scantiness of any 
matepal vestiges, and with the contrast which is in 
this respect afforded by the remains of another gi"eat 
people who held this land before them. The mighty 
barrier which the Romans erected from sea to sea — 
the chain of military posts, all parts of a complete and 
beautiful system, by which they kept this wild dis- 
trict in check, are still distinctly to be traced. The 
roads which they have made are roads upon which we 
walk — the stones which they have squared are in many 
a fence and many a farm-house. Their altars, their 
inscriptions, their ornaments, their arms would furnish 
a museum — their coins are thickly sown throughout 
the soil, and the faces of their emperors are better 
f known to us than those of our own kings . But take 
away these material vestiges, and history alone would 
tell us that a great people had been here. No name 
of Roman origin marks our soil — no stamp of Roman 
thought is on our race — no breath of the Southern 
tongue softens the tough Teutonic of our speech. It 
may be that more particularly in the North the Roman 
occupation was that of military colonists in the midst 
of a hostile country, but at any rate, whatever impress 


they may have made was made upon a race which 
seems, like them, to have been clean swept away. 

How different are the remains of our early Northern 
founders ! — a rude stone set up on its end — a mound 
which only the practised eye can distinguish from the 
swelling hill — a solitary inscription which tells us — 

niggardly of letters — that " set up this stone." 

The coins that they have left are not their own — and 
of themselves would be a mystery. For among the 
mountains of Cumberland have been found Cufic coins 
of early date,* proving that among our Northern settlers 
were bold sea-rovers who had harried the East. For any 
material records then the story of the Northmen would 
be a blank, but etymology comes in and fills up the 
picture. The land is dotted over with little individual 
histories — rude and simple it is true — ^yet such as was 
their life. Here eight centuries ago an Ulf or an 
Orme shouldered his axe and strode into the forest to 
hew himself a home — nor deemed that his sturdy arm 
was marking the map of England. Here a wandering 
settler saw the blue lake gleaming through the trees — 
thought of his native land — and said " this shall be my 
home." Here in the name of some mountain dwelling 
we have the story of him who first, in his Tetrtofiic 
self-reliance, planted himself as an out-post in the soli- 
tude. Here he settled, and toiled, and lived, and died 
— it is all there is to tell. Here a Northman, faithful 
to Odin's command, set up the rude bauta to his de- 
parted friend. The stone is gone, and there is a busy 
town, but the memorial has borne his name far into 
an age that has outlived his life. 

*MarsdeD's Numismata Orientalia. 


We perceive then what important services etymo- 
logy renders us throughout this enquiry. We see how 
it enables us almost to construct a list, like the book of 
the Icelandic colonists, of the Northern settlers from 
whom our sturdy peasantry are to so great an extent 
derived. Mr. Kemble, I believe, has called attention 
to the frequency with which the names of places 
throughout England generally are formed from proper 
names ; and it may perhaps be the case that a close 
etymological investigation may be of service in throw- 
ing light upon the ethnology of other districts as well 
as ours. 

Finally — may I express a hope that the closer rela- 
tionship which has of late years been proved between 
ourselves and the people of the North may strengthen 
our sympathies with those simple and kindly races, to 
whom we owe so much of our nationality, and by 
whom those ancient ties have never been forgotten. 
For whether on the fire-scorched rocks of Iceland — 
amid the great pine forests of Sweden — or beneath the 
"midnight sun" of Norway, our wandering country- 
men find ever warm hearts and open hands. And 
even in the capital of Denmark no harsh memories are 
allowed to interfere with the welcome of an English- 



P. 40, 1. 29— For "mal" read "mael"— for "mala" read ./' 

" maela." 
P. 51, 1. 13.— For "Arthur's ring" read "Arthur's round W^ 

P. 136, 1. 2.— For " tickle" read "trickle." 
P. 136, 1. 2.— For « Edward " read " Edmund." ^ 
P. 171, 1. 25— For "humbleth" read "bumbleth." 

Caklislb: Pi{Imx£I> at iHK JouKNAL Ofhck, 3, Emglish 

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